TREMBLING BEFORE G-D
by Sandi DuBowski
"A man who lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they have both done an abomination: they shall be put to death, their blood is on them." — Leviticus 10:13
This unprecedented feature documentary shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the clear-cut Biblical prohibition that forbids homosexuality. As the film unfolds, we meet a range of complex individuals: the world's first openly gay Orthodox rabbi; closeted, married Hasidic gays and lesbians; Orthodox lesbian high-school sweethearts and out lesbian and gay people who were abandoned by religious families. One gay man asks the admired local Rabbi Joseph Langer of the Bay Area's ultra-Orthodox Chabad movement for an answer to his quandary. Vividly shot with a courageous few over five years in Brooklyn, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, London, Miami and San Francisco, TREMBLING BEFORE G-D is a project with global implications that strikes at the very essence of religious identity and tradition in a modern world. What emerges is a loving and fearless testament to faith and an affirmation of the universal struggle to belong.
English, Hebrew, Yiddish
Director: Sandi DuBowski
Producer: Sandi DuBowski, Marc Smolowitz
Co-Producer: Philippa Kowarsky, James Velaise
DIRECTOR - SANDI DUBOWSKI
Sandi DuBowski is the Director/Producer of Trembling Before G-d, Producer of A Jihad for Love, and Co-Producer of Budrus. His latest film, Rabbi, is supported by The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Catapult Film Fund, Bertha Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Hartley Film Foundation, Sheffield Doc/Fest Meet Market. His award-winning work has screened at Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, Toronto and over 200 festivals, had theatrical release in over 150 cities, aired on BBC, PBS, ZDF-Arte, Sundance Channel, and been funded by over 60 foundations including The Creative Capital Foundation, The Sundance Institute DFP, The Steven Spielberg Righteous Persons Foundation, and Cinereach. DuBowski conducted 800 live events with Trembling Before G-d and it has been seen by over 9 million people and changed the lives of countless individuals, their families, religious leaders, and communities around the world. He has worked with over 125 documentaries as the Outreach Director of Good Pitch which connects the world’s best social justice films with new allies and partners.
SUNDANCE 2001〡BERLINALE 2001 - TEDDY AWARD〡KRAKOW FILM FESTIVAL 2001〡KARLOVY VARY 2001〡CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2001〡HELSINKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2001〡BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2001〡CALGARY FILM FESTIVAL 2001〡SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 2001
"Deserves the red-carpet treatment... Dubowski examines the soul-shattering torment suffered by gays and lesbians hoping to reconcile their sexuality with their Orthodox beliefs. Dubowski seemingly touches on every facet of this complex dilemma with a restraint that’s admirable."
- Slant Magazine
"A fascinating look into a community not often discussed."
"Disturbing and informative."
- The Guardian