Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
This coming of age tale tells the story of Cameron Post (Chloe Grace Moretz), a 90's teenager struggling with "SSA' (Same Sex Attraction). When she is caught making out with her friend in the back of a car, Cameron is sent to 'God's Promise', a gay conversion camp to help her overcome her "struggle with sin". One of the hardest things to capture in storytelling is balance, and in this story, American- Iranian filmmaker Desiree Akhavan paints a balanced picture of a much debated topic. Despite the core themes being self-hatred and self-harm, Akhavan manages to create a forgiving tone and presents each of the characters as exactly what they are, people, combined of good and bad.
Much like Spike Lee's BlackkKlansman, this story is set in the past but centres around a contemporary subject matter, which makes it an important. However, much unlike BlackkKlansman, this film does not hold a political agenda, instead it focuses on the feelings of the characters, and their stories. A poignant line comes from Cameron when she explains "I don't think of myself as a homosexual...I don't think of myself as anything". Without using graphic imagery or language, the script manages to touch upon the conflicting emotions happening within the 'disciples' at God's Promise. The camp is not presented as a prison nor the disciples presented as prisoners, but the atmosphere at God's Promise forces the young people to believe their homosexual tendencies are sins worth punishing themselves for. Erin (Emily Skeggs) tells Cameron "I really do want to get past this" shortly after sexually interacting with her, and even Cameron questions "What if this really is my only chance, and im blowing it?" she follows with "im tired of feeling disgusted with myself.'
There are a few classic coming of age tropes within this film that fit perfectly with the story. Much like The Breakfast Club, the youngsters at God's Promise find friendship in their fellow outcasts and a musical number never goes amiss, in this case Cameron singing What's Up by 4 Non Blondes on the kitchen table. The entirety of this story is bittersweet and the end scene is no different, with the plot being left at a question mark and the audience left wondering what is to come, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a compelling and defiant must see this September.
I heard about this film through word of mouth and because of it's low budget I don't think many people have heard much about it, so if you haven't yet seen the trailer, you can watch that below: