This unflinching documentary takes the viewer inside the history—and the legacy—of the “pray the gay away” movement. Former leaders from Exodus, the foremost gay conversion institution, contend with the impossible question of how to make reparations for the damage their misguided ideas have inflicted upon the LGBTQ+ community. Meanwhile, one survivor, still reeling from the aftermath of more than a decade of trauma, takes the painful steps towards healing and acceptance. As these individuals share intimate testimonies, we hear their powerful first-hand accounts of the transformations during which each of them came to terms with their identities.
In her urgent directorial debut, Kristine Stolakis expands on her award-winning short-form work to continue to wrestle with the themes of politics, prejudice, and power. Revealing the intricate ecosystem of Exodus through the eyes of people who saw it from the inside, we witness the scale of the organization, the cutthroat economy it operated within, and its masterful manipulation of faith. Though its doors closed in 2013, the carnage of broken people it left behind and the litter of other similar groups that have spawned in its wake are evidence of the horrors that the human race is capable of when we repress who we are.—Lucy Mukerjee
Kristine Stolakis is a director whose films intimately examine how power, politics, and prejudice unfold in real peoples’ lives. Her debut feature Pray Away, produced by Multitude Films, takes viewers inside the “pray the gay away” movement. She hails from North Carolina and central New York.