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Bring a Baby: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behaviour) returns to the director’s chair with this intimate drama about a teenage girl forced to live at a gay conversion therapy centre. Based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth and featuring a nuanced performance by Chloë Grace Moretz, the film won the Grand Jury Prize for US Drama at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

After her romance with a female friend is discovered, Cameron Post (Moretz) is plucked from everyday life and sent to a religious centre called God’s Promise. Here she is told that her ‘same sex attraction’ (or SSA) is a sin and that she must work to rid herself of these feelings. She soon befriends the rebellious Jane (American Honey’s Sasha Lane) and Adam (Forrest Goodluck) who have been growing their own ‘ditch weed’ in the neighbouring forest. Akhavan takes great care to provide us with glimpses of the lives of several of the young inhabitants of God’s Promise as they grapple with the emotional turmoil of their situations, including Cameron’s roommate Erin, brought to life through a particularly strong performance by Emily Skeggs.

While set in the 1990s, the film doesn’t get bogged down in period detail, a choice which makes the heartfelt message at the core of the film feel even more timely. Akhavan’s loose, observational approach means that when the film reaches its powerful conclusion, it is the ways in which Cameron and her peers persevere throughout the injustices that they face that lingers in the mind afterwards.