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One Nation Under God (2004)

- , Francine Rzeznik , Teodoro Maniaci  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: -
  • Directors: Francine Rzeznik, Teodoro Maniaci
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTVRU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,127 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "One Nation Under God" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

This riveting documentary offers the most dynamic historical overview of gays and lesbians in modern American society since Before Stonewall. --Planet Out

Product Description

{WINNER! Audience Award-Best Documentary, 1993 San Francisco Int'l Lesbian & Gay Film Festival}

ONE NATION UNDER GOD takes on the history of the religious right in America and the techniques they've used over the past fifty years to try to change gays and lesbians into straight people.

ONE NATION UNDER GOD provides a historical context as well as political analysis of the frighteningly large and well-financed anti-gay campaign being waged by the religious right and conservative political leaders, who are "curing" gays and lesbians in the name of Family Values, Morality and Patriotism. It analyzes the underlying social and cultural factors that have contributed to the persistent and harmful myth that gay people are somehow damaged and can be "fixed."

"Reparative therapies" such as "orgasmic re-assignment therapy" sound too humorous to be taken seriously. Yet, they are part of a system of destructive aversion therapies that includes exorcisms, beauty makeovers for butch lesbians, football for gay males, and other truly frightening methods that have been used to cure, discourage and stigmatize homosexuality.

Interviews with people involved in the ex-gay movement, including the former ex-gays Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. Bussee and Cooper were the founders of Exodus International, a large ministry aimed at changing gays into straights, but renounced the group after falling in love. Gary and Michael state, "We learn three messages growing up gay. First, don't be gay. Second, if you're gay be miserable. Third, if you're not miserable shut up!" By combining such insightful interviews with archival footage from the 1950s and 1960s in a stylish mixture of humor and horror, ONE NATION UNDER GOD not only entertains and enlightens, but also celebrates diversity and promotes a sense of shared values.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at "Ex-Gay" Ministries June 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
With the ludicrous "Truth in Love" campaign now fully underway, this video is a must-see for anyone who wants a more full understanding of the concept behind ex-gay ministries. As shown in the video, many of the original founders of groups such as Exodus are no longer associated with those groups and debunk their "conversion" therapies. Although I found some of the ideas that these "ex-gay" ministries espouse to be silly and ridiculous, I thought the video was not as "funny" or "hilarious" as the box quotes make it sound. Rather it was a chilling wake-up to the way certain religious groups in our country are preaching hate and intolerance in the thinly veiled form of "Ex-gay" ministries. Ever more frightening is that many of these groups are growing every day...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I suppose some people will accuse me of traking a seperate but equal way of thinking about this film, but tough beans. I would say that for gay people, especially gay Christians, especially gay Christians who have felt alienated from God, this is a wonderful and moving, powerful and important film. For those of the rest of us who are straight or gay but non-Christian, it is just good.

The film is a frank discussion about ministries that claim to be able to change your sexual orientation from gay to straight with the Bible, support groups, therapy (including electroshock), and a lot of hard work. However as the film points out, you never can work hard enough to change your sexual orientation, and all these ministries accomplish is self delusion, denial, hatred, homophobia, low self esteem and self destructive behavior including suicide. Every accredited scientific study of the last 30 years or so has collaborated this fact, but ex-gay groups like Exodus Ministries (the largest group) still claim to be able to "cure" a gay man by teaching him how to play softball and a lesbian woman by teaching her how to put on makeup, willfully ignoring the reality that gay women wear makeup already (myself among them) and there are gay men who can bench press 300lbs (like my roommate). The film is pretty low budget and shows production values that are pretty consistant with it being made in the early 90's, so it is no technical feat. However you can have a good laugh at the woman from Exodus trying to cure a lesbian by slathering her in blue eyeshadow ala Mimi on The Drew Carey Show.

As a final point, a reviewer on this site said that the film lies when it claims that Gary Cooper co-founded Exodus Ministries.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was appalled by the very poor physical quality of the DVD of this movie. I had often watched a VHS recording of a television broadcast about 8 years ago and I bought the DVD especially because I was hoping for improved video quality - however the DVD video has significant problems with dropouts and pixilisation, and the audio is just plain shocking with very many dropouts.

So I then bought the original VHS version, being prepared to sacrifice some video quality in the hope of improved audio, but sadly the VHS has exactly the same video and audio errors as the DVD - plus the added annoyance of a severely overloaded HiFi audio track which causes lots of clipping throughout.

The original content of "One Nation Under God" deserved the very best mastering for DVD and VHS presentation, so I am very disappointed.

I must correct another reviewer who misrepresents the claimed credentials of the film's main characters. They do not claim to have been "the two founding members of Exodus", but merely "two of the founding members" - there's a BIG difference. This film has lots of street cred and is just as relevant today as when it was filmed (1990-1993).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Issues and Unanswered Questions March 26, 2008
Format:DVD
Associated with right-wing Christian evangelicals, Exodus advocates conversion of homosexuals into heterosexuals through various programs--although precisely what these programs are, how effective they are, and whether such conversion should be attempted at all have been contentious issues since the organization formed in 1976. ONE NATION UNDER GOD seeks to describe Exodus and similar programs and compare their somewhat vague success stories against the realities of those who attempted this sexual conversion and crashed and burned.

The major focus of the film is on Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. Bussee was among the five co-founding members of Exodus; Cooper was an Exodus volunteer who is sometimes described as a co-founder, depending on the exact source. Both were gay men determined to become heterosexual--but precipitated a mighty scandal in the Exodus ranks when they instead fell in love with each other. Other notables interviewed include Frank Worthen, founder of Love In Action, which pre-dated Exodus; and Martin Duberman, noted author, a gay man who sought to become heterosexual through psychotherapy and whose book CURES documents the process he underwent.

As these and other interview subjects speak out on camera they are occasionally interrupted by "scientific films" drawn from the 1950s and 1960s; religious leaders who condemn or support, as case may be; and some unintentionally hilarious moments, including one that can only be described as "beauty tips for lesbians." The result is a collage of questions to which no two people have exactly the same answer. Can one change one's sexuality? Or not? If so, how? And if so, is it actually a desirable sort of thing?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypocrisy Abounds.
This documentary accurately describes the stupidity of Americans in their evaluations of gay people. If you want your eyes opened, it is a definite watch.
Published 7 months ago by Jimmy Don Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives me a lot of insight on gay people
I watched this documentary to gain some understanding of gay people's perspective on many issues.

Let me give you guys some background. Read more
Published 11 months ago by gclaheh
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unique and Thoughtful Documentary
We've been hearing a lot about "pray away the gay" lately, possibly because Michelle Bachmann's husband does this sort of "counseling" full time. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Barbara Frederick
3.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Be Straight?
One Nation Under God looks at Christian groups that try to train people not to be gay. Through activities such as football (for men) and makeup and hair styling (for women),... Read more
Published on February 24, 2010 by stoic
5.0 out of 5 stars And the Truth Shall Set You Free
This DVD was shown at a campus-wide event sponsored by the Ally Group called "DocuMovie Night". Reception of the message was fantastic. Read more
Published on April 25, 2008 by Joshua L. Lindgren
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening expose on Reparative Therapy
This documentary interviews the former ex-gays that started one of the "repartive therapy" movements to cure gays of being homosexual. Read more
Published on February 6, 2007 by Dayle Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Look at How Ignorance and Hate Can Be a Cancer
I agree with this reviewer..."To say that *all* homosexuality is wrong and bad and *never* okay is presumptuous and ignorant." A lot of thought was put into this documentary. Read more
Published on May 7, 2006 by J. McAndrew
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