“ESCAPING FREEDOM”— Sexual Identity and Faith

“ESCAPING FREEDOM”

Sexual Identity and Faith

Amos Lassen

Director Edd Blott’s “Escaping Freedom” is inspired by his real-life experiences and gives us something of an examination of questions about sexual identity and faith. Vincent  is a pastor of a small church  who is struggling with religious doubt and desire for another male pastor. His foster sister, Krystal,  from whom he is  estranged has been spending her life exploring hedonism. She is also struggling but with the labels she has been given because of this. (Americans are known to label each other rather than looking within a person. I am always amazed to hear someone say, “He’s a nice guy even though he’s Jewish” or “Isn’t she pretty for a fat girl”).

Krystal and Vincent are each other’s’ closest confidants even though they are total opposites yet they attract each other (as well as repel each other). Their relationship and their senses of individuality nearly explode when they have a reunion. They are forced into self-examination and facing and dealing with their individual faults.

Vincent, as a religious leader, knew not to question himself or his religious beliefs and also understood that same-sex desires were out of the question. However, he reached a point in his life where he could no longer ignore his true feelings. He realized he was living a life according to other’s definition of who he was. (This was what director Edd Blott was himself dealing with). Living a lie was getting him nowhere and he wanted to be his true self.

Vincent struggles with how he was seen by others while hiding his desire for another man—he was “escaping freedom”. While Krystal’s life was free of boundaries, she was secretly ashamed of being labeled as a hedonist. She, too, is “escaping freedom”. The siblings have a common struggle— to maintain their sense of identity regardless of cost. They can see the faults in each other but ignore their own. They may seem to be total opposites but they are really very much alike and upon deeper thought, we see that they are really two parts of one person. In this is the relevance of the film—- we see ourselves in the characters and in fact, the characters are us; giving representations of our own lives. “We are complex creatures with the capacity to love, feel pain and deep fears, and exude incredible strength.” We are all in this world together and “worthy of being loved, by others and, maybe even more importantly, by his/her/their own self.”

This is a film that stays with you— not just because of the intensity of the plot but also because of the outstanding performances of the entire cast but especially of Patrick D. Green as Vincent and Kelly Godell as Krystal.

You can pre-order “Escaping Freedom”on Vimeo On Demand on May 5, 2020. It will be available for purchase on Vimeo On Demand and Amazon Prime Video on June 6 (Just in time for Pride Month)  and available to stream on Gay-themed platform Dekkoo, and available for rental via Vimeo On Demand and Amazon Prime Video.

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