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Can you be both queer and Christian? Halifax Black Film Festival documentary poses question


The 6th annual Halifax Black Film Festival will take place virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and one of the films receiving a lot of attention is "With Wonder."

The documentary, which is directed by Sharon Lewis from Toronto, takes a personal look at the journeys of members in the queer and Christian communities of colour and their attempts to answer the question: Can you be both Queer and Christian?

"So, I started to do a deep dive into it and it was painful. It was painful to see that this place of love was such a place of hate and condemnation," said Lewis in an interview with CTV Atlantic's Katie Kelly. "I really wanted to explore that. You know, how you get through that. How you find your way out of that."

Lewis' idea for the documentary formed from her own struggles of feeling like she didn’t fit in.

"I don't know if there is an easy answer to whether you can be Christian and queer at the same time, but what I did find is that each of the participants had their own journey and had their own way of reckoning with that."

She says something she found fascinating about the documentary, and hopes others do too, is the fact that although everyone has their own journey, the pain caused by churches is shared among many.

"It's a love letter to God by us, and so, it's not a documentary with people looking on the outside," said Lewis. "There's no experts telling us how this should be. There's no statistics."

Lewis hopes the film will help people feel hopeful for the future.

"I want, that you see the trauma, that you understand and you empathize, but that you really see that these are beautiful, loving, complex beings," she said. "We are lovers, we're teachers, we're activists, we're regular folks. I really want you to see that.

"When you come with love and with wonder, in terms of how the world should be, that you'll walk away with love and hope."

“With Wonder” can be seen at the Halifax Black Film Festival, which takes place from Feb. 24 to 27.

Tickets can be purchased online. Top Stories

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