Trembling Before G-d

New Yorker Video

I don’t know if crocheted rainbow yarmulkes will ever enter the picture, but reformed Judaism has taken a fairly liberal, modern approach to homosexuals. On the other hand, Orthodox Jews, with their traditional beards and time-honored prayer regiments, are more likely to be found carving a ham than advocating gay relationships. The documentary Trembling Before G-d focuses on alienation, depression and the constant secret-keeping that comes with being a gay Jew. Unfortunately, the hush-hush nature of this potentially intriguing subject matter stifles the entertainment value of the film. Many of the participating interviewees insisted on anonymity and were filmed as silhouettes or had their faces blurred out a la Cops. Even so, the filmmakers managed to produce quite a variety of profiles. There’s a lesbian couple, an AIDS-infested drag queen and a married mother of many, all of whom simultaneously crave and wrestle with a rather strict spiritual system in their daily lives.