When you grew up gay in a Jehovah’s Witness community in a small northern town, you see a story with a character who even remotely resembled us on the movie screen. Lesbian characters inevitably used as plot points and usually died tragic deaths. "You Can Live Forever" is the movie you always wanted to see as a teenager. A film that can honor the experiences of other young people in a similar predicament. It's a screenplay that conveys the reality of the remarkable, fragile relationship at the heart of Jaime’s story. The punishment for homosexuality in the Jehovah’s Witness community is disfellowship, in which the sinner is cast out of the community, unable to ever see their friends and loved ones, the only people they've ever known again, less they repent and make amends. It's a harrowing, unthinkable punishment. And because of that looming threat, the love affair between Jaime and Marike is multi-layered and complex, playing out beneath the surface in glances, touches, and often wordless communication. You've a true insider’s perspective to a community that's little known and even less understood. Their beliefs, their rituals and their unique apocalyptic worldview are some of the most compelling elements of Jaime’s story and the backdrop to which this love affair plays out, and ultimately the reason why it's so heartbreaking. "You Can Live Forever" is a story about being a stranger in a strange land, about first love, about blind faith, and about how far we're willing to go to find happiness. (2,5) Written by Gregory Mann
I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness, and I am straight. This movie is very touching and intense. A work of art!
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