The Therapy

Director Zvi Landsman expected to attend

Set in Jerusalem, this gripping documentary exposes the harmful practices of so-called conversion therapy from within. Director Zvi Landsman compassionately follows the lives of two gay men—Lev (54) and Ben (23)—who underwent conversion therapy and testify before the Knesset about whether or not conversion therapy practices should be made illegal, but from opposing sides. Lev, a divorced ultra-Orthodox Jew, clings to conversion therapy because it provides the only space where he can be openly gay within a community. Whereas Ben, a 23-year-old social work student, seven years into conversion therapy, starts having doubts. In the ultra-Orthodox world where he grew up, he was taught that homosexuality was a defect that one could “cure,” but through a series of conversations with a clinical psychology professor and an NGO leader, he comes to understand that conversion therapy is extremely harmful and dangerous. Facing discrimination and alienation from his family, Ben sets out on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Featuring footage from one-on-one and group sessions, this documentary is an unprecedented exposé of this abusive, tragic and terrifying practice in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in contemporary Israel.

Co-sponsored by Frederick Hertz and David and Vera Hartford

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w/English Subtitle
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Bay Area Premiere