The Miseducation of Cameron Post has made its way to Nashville’s Belcourt. The film follows Chloë Grace Moretz’s character to gay conversion therapy.
Moretz’s character, Cameron, is the star of this film from writer/director Desiree Akhavan that was adapted from the young-adult novel by Emily M. Danforth. Cameron is a queer teenager who gets caught fooling around with another girl in the backseat of a car on prom night. Cameron is caught by her date, a male, and is promptly sent away to gay conversion camp. The strict Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) and her brother, Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.), run the camp and Rick is actually an example for the campers. He’s an example of how gay can be “cured” by repenting for “same-sex attraction.”
At first glance, you’d imagine the film to center around the highly religious therapies and practices used at the camp. Although they briefly showcase these, the film is about so much more than that. While she’s away, Cameron meets Jane (Sasha Lane), and her friend, the Lakota Two-Spirit, Adam (Forrest Goodluck). Together, they endure the camp together, sharing their stories, telling their tales and counting down until they’re able to leave the sinner’s camp.
The film isn’t a cliché take on queer storytelling. Instead, it’s refreshing and eye-opening. It doesn’t stray away from the guilt that Cameron feels about her “same-sex attraction,” despite never questioning herself. It doesn’t stray away from a tragic storyline that shows just how much these children are having to deal with while sent away.
As Variety so nicely put it, “It’s been proven that identifying accepting, positive role models goes a long way to decrease the risk of suicide among LGBT youth, which means that simply by sharing this story, both Danforth and Akhavan may well be saving lives.”
Basically, this is a story that needs to be told — and it’s only the beginning.
The film is screening now at the Belcourt through Sept. 13. See dates and times here.