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Boy Erased Sheds Light on Dark Topic of Conversion Therapy

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Boy Erased Sheds Light on Dark Topic of Conversion Therapy

Theodore Pallerin and Lucas Hedges star in Boy Erased which focuses on the Baptist conversion therapy.

Theodore Pallerin and Lucas Hedges star in Boy Erased which focuses on the Baptist conversion therapy.

Focus Features

Theodore Pallerin and Lucas Hedges star in Boy Erased which focuses on the Baptist conversion therapy.

Focus Features

Focus Features

Theodore Pallerin and Lucas Hedges star in Boy Erased which focuses on the Baptist conversion therapy.

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Boy Erased Sheds Light on the Dark Topic of Conversion Therapy

Boy Erased is the latest film accumulating public attention and sparking controversy in various religious circles. The screenplay is based on the memoirs of Garrard Conley, a homosexual teen in Arkansas forced to undergo rigorous and misguided conversion therapy to maintain his Baptist values. The film exposes the corrupt dealings of conversion therapy merely by presenting it with truth and accuracy.

Boy Erased tackles a difficult subject matter and forces the audience to peer into the Baptist world of bigotry and homophobia. The protagonist, Jared, is coerced by church officials and his father to repress his sexuality, and is prompted to regard same-sex attraction as a sin. Small details are littered into the story that reinforces how backward and amoral conversion therapy is, with most therapists not only lacking any formal credentials or doctorates but also all being alums of the program, demonstrating how systematic and cyclical ignorance can be.

The practices inside the walls of the therapy center can only be described as sinister and unsettling. All patients are allowed no contact with the outside world during their stay, and are firmly instructed never to speak of their therapy outside the center. All patients dress identically and are under constant supervision, showing how these centers attempt to strip teens of their individuality. Scenes inside the therapy center provoke an almost Orwellian vibe, with propaganda and fear-mongering being commonplace tactics for the therapy sessions.

While the process of therapy in Boy Erased is despicable, the film also clearly exposes how these organizations profit off enrollment, and conversion therapy centers are monetarily incentivized to extend the stay of certain patients and nurture a dependence on therapy in their patrons.

While the story and portrayal of Boy Erased is top notch, its film-making and cinematography leave a little to be desired. The camera work and shot composition are rather mundane, but where Boy Erased truly shines is in its performances and writing. Every scene of Boy Erased become increasingly more chilling when remembering it is comprised of a true story and the fact that over 300,000 people suffer from conversion therapy every year.

Boy Erased is a must-see film to educate audiences on the true nature of misguided religious efforts and the archaic mindset of some churches in modern times.

 

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Camden Brazile, Copy Editor

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