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One Nation Under God (1993)

7.4
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Focusing on the contemporary religious Right Wing proliferation of curative therapies for homosexuality, this riveting documentary offers historical context as well as a political analysis ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ralph Blair ...
Himself (as Dr. Ralph Blair)
Pat Buchanan ...
Himself (archive footage)
Michael Bussee ...
Himself
Robert Cabaj ...
Himself (as Dr. Robert Cabaj)
Michael Chu ...
Himself, former 'ex-gay'
Gary Cooper ...
Himself
Stefani Cort ...
Herself
Joe Dallas ...
Himself
Gerald Davison ...
Himself (as Dr. Gerald Davison)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Martin Duberman ...
Himself
John Evans ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Rev. Jerry Falwell)
Mary Garland ...
Herself, former 'ex-gay'
Joanne Highly ...
Herself
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Focusing on the contemporary religious Right Wing proliferation of curative therapies for homosexuality, this riveting documentary offers historical context as well as a political analysis of this frighteningly large movement. Written by <peterson@merle.acns.nwu.edu>

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June 1993 (USA)  »

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Intriguing Issues and Unanswered Questions
19 April 2008 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Associated with right-wing Christian evangelicals, Exodus advocates conversion of homosexuals into heterosexuals through various programs--although precisely what these programs are, how effective they are, and whether such conversion should be attempted at all have been contentious issues since the organization formed in 1976. ONE NATION UNDER GOD seeks to describe Exodus and similar programs and compare their somewhat vague success stories against the realities of those who attempted this sexual conversion and crashed and burned.

The major focus of the film is on Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. Bussee was among the five co-founding members of Exodus; Cooper was an Exodus volunteer who is sometimes described as a co-founder, depending on the exact source. Both were gay men determined to become heterosexual--but precipitated a mighty scandal in the Exodus ranks when they instead fell in love with each other. Other notables interviewed include Frank Worthen, founder of Love In Action, which pre-dated Exodus; and Martin Duberman, noted author, a gay man who sought to become heterosexual through psychotherapy and whose book CURES documents the process he underwent.

As these and other interview subjects speak out on camera they are occasionally interrupted by "scientific films" drawn from the 1950s and 1960s; religious leaders who condemn or support, as case may be; and some unintentionally hilarious moments, including one that can only be described as "beauty tips for lesbians." The result is a collage of questions to which no two people have exactly the same answer. Can one change one's sexuality? Or not? If so, how? And if so, is it actually a desirable sort of thing? Although ONE NATION UNDER GOD clearly comes down on the side of those who claim that "ministries" such as Exodus are little more than dangerous pseudo-science, the answers to the questions are not quite as clear cut as one could wish--which is, in fact, one of the points the film makes: to this date there has been no serious study of Exodus' success rates. The DVD offers a reasonable transfer, but there are no bonuses of any kind--a great pity in this instance, for it is a fascinating subject that bears considerably deeper investigation than this fairly short film allows.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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