Movies

Review: Pray Away Netflix Documentary Is Now Streaming

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Can you really pray something away?

Pray Away Netflix Documentary
Netflix

That’s the question the new Pray Away Netflix documentary left me contemplating.

It’s a powerful, thought provoking story about people who are trying to be “ex-gay.”

The documentary tells the story of five men who in the 70’s struggled with being gay in their Evangelical church. They started a bible study to help each other leave the “homosexual lifestyle.” That Bible study became formally known as Exodus International. The largest and most controversial conversion therapy organization in the world.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.- Colossians 3:14

To be honest, watching this film was the first time I heard about Conversion therapy. It’s basically a practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation through different techniques. . One of the subjects that stuck out to me was Julie. As a teenager Julie was sent to Exodus International because she liked girls.. While in the program, the leaders told her she couldn’t play softball anymore so that she wouldn’t like girls. Then there was the doing “girlie” things to make her feminine. Julie enjoyed the program in the beginning., because she thought it was making her “good” like other Christians. The more she shared, the more I asked myself what have we done.. and when I say “we” I mean Christians.

Pray Away Netflix documentary

The documentary also shed light on these same leaders who were teaching this Conversion Therapy. They struggled with a secret: their own “same-sex attractions” never went away. 

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Last week I was given the opportunity to speak with the director Kristine Stolakis. I couldn’t wait to discuss the film with her. I was praying that God would give us room to have an open and healthy dialogue around the film and He did.

I shared my story with Kristine about growing up in a traditional Black church, where the Pastor often used the pulpit to condemn being gay. Which Kristine shared is another form of Conversion Therapy. Talk about a WHOA! moment when I heard that.

What does Kristine want Christians to take away from this documentary?

“If we can step aside from the us v. them narrative that we often hear in our culture, and instead view this as an issue of mental health, and abuse I think we can have a really productive conversation following this film within our communities that are rich, that are hard, that are going to take us facing pain that has happened within religious communities with LGBTQ individuals that are so, so necessary.”

I wanted to know what inspired her to direct such a controversial topic. Kristine opened up about her uncle who went through Conversion Therapy back in the late 60’s after coming out as Transgender as a child. She witnessed one of her “favorite people” struggle with addiction, anxiety and depression as a result of the program. She later would find out that this was quite common in people who went through Conversion Therapy. Sadly her uncle passed away when she started film school, and this film she dedicates to him.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.- 1 John 4:16

“Pray Away” is now streaming on Netflix.

Watch: King Richard Trailer Starring Will Smith

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The King Richard trailer starring Will Smith as tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams father is out.

King Richard trailer
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. released the trailer last week.

The inspirational drama tells the story of Richard Williams and how he trained his daughters to become world tennis champions.

Venus and Serena gone shake up this world

From acclaimed director Reinaldo Marcus Green and debut screenwriter Zach Baylin, the teaser showcases Will’s powerful and emotional acting range, including an inspiring speech in which he states: “You will be representing every little Black girl on Earth.”

In theaters Nov. 19th

Taraji P. Henson Directing Tell it Like A Woman Anthology Project

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Taraji P. Henson set to direct Jennifer Hudson and Pauletta Washington in the Tell It Like a Woman anthology project.

tell it like a woman anthology

The ladies take on “Pepcy & Kim,” one of the anthology’s seven segments. “Pepcy & Kim” is inspired by the true story of Kim Carter, a former addict. Kim has used her story and her nonprofit, the Time for Change Foundation, to help homeless women and children break the cycle and reclaim their lives.

Hudson is set to star in the segment, playing both Pepcy and Kim, opposite Washington.

The film made by and about women is comprised of seven segments that make one intertwining feature film. 

This story first appeared in Variety.

Whoopi Goldberg Playing Emmett Till’s Grandmother In Upcoming Film “Till”

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Whoopi Goldberg is set to act in and produce “Till” about the 1955 murder of 14 year old Emmett Till in Mississippi.

Whoopi Goldberg
The View

The View co-host will play Emmett’s grandmother, Alma Carthan, in the MGM Orion Pictures film. Danielle Deadwyler has been cast as Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett’s mother.

“Till” chronicles Mamie’s decision to have an open casket at Emmett’s funeral. She also allowed Jet magazine to publish funeral photos, in order to ensure everyone saw the true horrors of her son’s murder. The decision from the grieving mother was a galvanizing moment that led to the creation of the civil rights movement.

We have waited a very long time to bring this historically necessary important film to people. – Whoopi

Principal photography on “Till” is set to begin in September in Atlanta, according to Variety.

Official Trailer Debut: Netflix VIVO Debuts Globally Aug. 6th

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I have some exciting news! We are just one week away from the debut of Netflix Vivo, the family-friendly musical starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Netflix Vivo

That love lives forever in your heart

Synopsis:

A one-of-kind kinkajou (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda), embarks on an unforgettable, musical adventure to deliver a love song to Marta (voiced by Gloria Estefan) on behalf of his owner Andrés (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan De Marcos).

VIVO is an exhilarating story about gathering your courage, finding family in unlikely friends, and the belief that music can open you to new worlds.

New Clip: Netflix VIVO Starts Streaming August 6th

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From Sony Pictures Animation comes Netflix VIVO, an animated musical adventure featuring all-new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Netflix VIVO
VIVO – (L-R) Ynairaly Simo as Gabi and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Vivo. ©2021 SPAI. All Rights Reserved.

Streaming on Netflix August 6th, the family friendly movie follows Vivo (voiced by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda), a kinkajou who roams around Havana with his owner Andrés (voiced by Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos González) singing tunes and playing music for the crowds. While they do not speak the same language, their bond is unbreakable due to their shared love of music. Adventure ensues when Vivo must deliver a hand-written letter to the long-lost love of Andrés, traveling from Havana to Miami and meeting a friend along the way. 

VIVO – (L-R) JUAN DE MARCOS GONZÁLEZ as “Andres” and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA as “Vivo”. Cr: ©2021 SPAI. All Rights Reserved.

Also featuring the voices of Zoe Saldaña (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Gabi’s mother, Rosa; Michael Rooker as a villainous Everglades python, Lutador; Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer as a pair of star-crossed spoonbills; and Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, and Lidya Jewett as a trio of well-meaning but overzealous scout troops, the animnated film is an exhilarating story about gathering your courage, finding family in unlikely friends, and the belief that music can open you to new worlds.