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The 2005 French-language film “C.R.A.Z.Y.”, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is a coming-of-age drama film set in Quebec during the 1960s and 1970s, about a young man named Zac. He struggles growing up with homophobia while coming from a conservative family of four brothers over a timeframe of roughly twenty years. This paper will dive into the negative light in which the ideology of religion is portrayed by deconstructing two scenes between Zac and his father, Gervais.
One night, during midnight mass at the family’s Catholic church, Zac is seen professing his atheism to the crowd. Zac views, in his mind, himself levitating over the others while the audience sang, “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. I truly believe Vallée portrayed this image that by being a Catholic, you must obey and follow the path set by the Bible. If one does not follow the path of progressive Catholics as per this scene, they are then following the works of the devil. By using such a recognized song written by Mick Jagger, he connects the acts of atheism from Zac to Mick Jagger, who in the song, demands the listeners’ courtesy towards him (as the devil). Despite Zac’s sinful beliefs, his religious identity is still viewed by wearing a cross around his neck. As Zac’s father catches him leaving a vehicle with another male classmate, while Zac adjusts his crotch, Gervais’ disgust towards his son’s sexuality forces Zac to see a therapist.
As a traditional Catholic conservative parent, I believe Gervais’ decision was one of dissatisfaction within himself and not of his religion. Likewise, with Zac, his guilt about his sexuality is not fully connected to his beliefs. Both are struggling to find common ground and save their once-exceptional relationship. As Gervais reacts to his son coming out at Zac’s brothers’ wedding, he does not accept his son for who he truly is, until his son flees to Jerusalem and Gervais begins to deeply misses him. When Zac returns home, his father’s beliefs have changed. This goes to show that in most cases, a parent’s unconditional love for their child is truly stronger than their religious beliefs. Barriers between family members due to self and religious beliefs are unnecessary acts of one’s desire. To break this down, as a conservative religious father, Gervais wants Zac to follow the footsteps he leaves behind for him. By Zac being unsure of his sexuality, tension grows larger between the two, until the moment Gervais realizes that his son would rather leave his side in order to follow his desire.
Religion is shaped from the past and must be molded to accept the future. Many Catholics, including Pope Francis, have called for social acceptance of the LGBT community, despite the Vatican still opposing it. After watching the film, it is a tough to not ask ourselves why we allow such foolish decisions take over our perceptions, which damage the most important relationship of all; family. Human differences are only as significant as we tolerate them to be.
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