The Miseducation of Cameron Post
»The only mainstream queer female stories have been directed by men – it disgusts me.«
– Desiree Akhavan
After the death of her parents in an accident, Cameron Post has to move in with her ultra-conservative relatives. It’s 1993, and in deepest Montana it’s an absolute taboo for women to fancy women. When her aunt catches her making out in her car with prom queen Coley, Cameron is packed off to a conversion therapy camp. »Pray away the gay!« is the order of the day here. In »God’s Promise« Reverend Rick and his sister Dr. Lydia Marsh use dubious therapy methods and Jesus music to show the young people the way to God and heterosexuality. With a pathologising intent, the »condition« is referred to here as SSA – Same Sex Attraction. The young people are supposed to identify all the causes of their abnormality. But in this dreadful place, Cameron finds friends with whom she can be herself for the first time. She immediately connects with the camp’s two biggest rebels and together they find freedom and creative ways out of the camp’s constraints.
Desiree Akhavan’s film is based on Emily M. Danforth’s 2012 novel of the same name, which was inspired by real events that sparked a wide public debate in the US in 2005. At that time, teenager Zach Stark revealed the experiences he had had in a camp designed to stop »endangered« youths from following their »inclination« and bring them back on the »right path«.
Of Iranian descent, Desiree Akhavan was born in New York City in 1984. She studied at Smith College and New York University and between 2010 and 2012 directed a total of 16 episodes of the TV series The Slope. Like The Miseducation of Cameron Post and her debut Appropriate Behavior, this series examines issues of sexual identity.
Films by Desiree Akhavan
The Bisexual (TV Series) 2018 | The Miseducation of Cameron Post 2018 | Appropriate Behavior 2014 | The Slope (TV-Series) 2010-2012 | Nose Job (Short) 2010