Multihyphenates embark on, obviously, many projects, and for the most part, those projects are successful. That’s true with Sharon Lewis who comes out with a new documentary, With Wonder. There she interviews preachers’ children, preachers, and Pride participants. She also talks to other religious queer people of colour about their relationships with God and Christian organizations. One of these preacher’s adult children is Serena. She talks about how the homophobia that she learned as a child permeates through adulthood. That’s a time when most people get into relationships. Relationships are tricky for queer adults especially when God and human parents disagree.
With Wonder is literally about trauma after trauma. Another of the documentary’s participant is D’Lo, a Tamil transman. He reveals how one of his teachers told him that his cousin will go to hell. That’s because the cousin believed in both Jesus and Hindu gods. Revelations like this speak to how one of Christianity’s strengths is also its weakness. Its singularity makes fundamentalist members condemn fellow believers. Those fundamentalists are sadly the ones who take powerful positions within Christian organizations. This isn’t to say that the documentary exploits these stories. I’ll chalk that up to the documentary’s balanced approach.
Some of the criticisms I have are nitpicks. But they’re large enough for me to warrant the star rating that I give above. The stylistic choices here are fittingly minimal except for the soft focus that blurs the background during the interview segments. It’s also difficult to get into the documentary’s flow as it introduces more participants during the third act. After putting those nitpicks into writing though, there is something… wondrous about Lewis’ camera. She captures these participants beautifully as they pray to their God. That same wonder is true when these participants talk about their religious reconnections.
With Wonder is an Inside Out digital exclusive.