It is no secret that despite the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., there are still people against same-sex relationships. The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the story of a teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who gets caught with her best friend in the car at prom, and is sent to religious conversion therapy.
There are topics that are addressed in the media that discusses the issues of the LGBT identifying people, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post is the first film that has really delved into the use of conversion facilities. Many people may not realize those places exist or it may be hard to think about. Many people experience persecution and violence, but there is a group that is treated as though they have a sickness that can be cured. It seems impossible to think about, but it’s a very real and relevant issue today.
The film is a major step artistically, both for the director Desiree Akhavan and Moretz. The movie is Akhavan’s first major project, and it’s a true piece of activism for LGBT individuals. She’s the first director to really approach the topic and it proved to be both impressive and thought-provoking. Moretz has become increasingly more successful. In the past, she has mostly done teen-based dramas and less accredited films, but this marks a major shift in her choice of roles. She takes on a major activist role and she does it well.
The patients in the facility are not allowed to call themselves homosexuals and they are forced to do an iceberg activity that makes them identify contributing factors in their lives that lead to this “sin.” The movie is the epitome of a condescending Christian group that believes homosexuals have fallen victim to devilish temptations.
Bible verses are used to “educate” the patients and they are often forced to repeat that God doesn’t make mistakes people do. Religion is used to blame and shame the patients to make them feel like they have failed God. The head of the facility has a very cold, controlling demeanor and opposes gay people strongly. Essentially, the teens are locked up until they admit that they were wrong for having those feelings. These extremist ideas are featured throughout the film and they unite some of the people in the facility.
The film is full of dynamic emotional appeals. The scenes featuring the pastor of the facility are more lighthearted because the main characters find humor in his story. The environment is highly sensitive due to the experiences of the patients, so there are moments when you don’t know what to expect. A major heartbreak in the film is when Cameron talks on the phone to people she feels love her, and doesn’t get the response she expects. She wants to be loved and accepted but is left feeling more abandoned than anything.
Ultimately, The Miseducation of Cameron Post gives the audience a peak behind the walls of a place that is foreign to most people. It also shows that there is more to feeling loved than being told “I love you.” LGBT individuals want to feel accepted for who they are.They are not committing a crime, they simply love who they love.