By sampling groups of people from London to New York to Israel (the Jewish homeland), Trembling Before G-d (yes, that's the title, without the O in God) effectively proves the universality of being homosexual. It's not something you catch, and it's not something you can control, though you can abstain or just masturbate. It's not simply a recent fad that will blow over. These individuals didn't choose to be the outcasts they've become, and some even try every idiotic method their rabbis suggest to change.
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The Weather Underground, a smart new documentary about this legendary splinter faction, starts off at the fractious 1969 SDS meeting, and its early scenes are full of the belief, which suffused American leftists at the time, that it was just a matter of time before the military-industrial complex came crumbling down. Intellectual Todd Gitlin (one of the original founders of SDS and the most succinct critic of the Weathermen in the film) compares their beliefs to the same ideology used by Stalin and Mao, namely that when revolutionaries like the Weatherman envision a perfect society around the corner, they become convinced that in order to get there, the deaths of "ordinary people" don't count. One of the more charming and down-to-earth ex-Weathermen interviewed for the film, Brian Flanagan, puts it even more simply: "When you feel you have right on your side you can do some pretty horrific things." This paranoid mentality - which the film shows was exacerbated by the FBI's often illegal campaign against groups like the Black Panthers - explains how this group of mostly middle-class whitebread college kids went from carrying signs to building bombs.
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.