‘Pray Away’: Emotional Documentary From Producers Ryan Murphy & Jason Blum Explores the Harm of Conversion Therapy


Netflix has released the first trailer for Pray Away, a documentary directed by Kristine Stolakis of Lamplighter Films. The movie features survivors of conversion therapy and their journeys since the experience, as well as the former leaders of the anti-gay conversion therapy movement. Stolakis’ films are known for examining how power, politics, and prejudice affect individuals, and it is clear that this film will hold true to that theme. Pray Away will debut globally on Netflix on August 3.

Pray Away takes the audience on an emotional journey as it explores those behind Exodus International (the largest Christian conversion therapy organization) and provides behind-the-scenes insight into the harmful operation, its lingering influence, and its rise to power. The leaders of Exodus promoted many cases in which an individual had supposedly been “cured,” and Stolakis’ documentary interviews several of those purported “success” stories to uncover the truth and the experience they endured.


Image via Netflix

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At one point Exodus International was comprised of over 250 ministries throughout the United States and Canada. However, in 2012, the president at the time, Alan Chambers, came out and publicly stated that he believed that conversion therapy did not work and that it was harmful to its patients. The organization has since been shut down, though many of its ministries still operate independently.

The film was executively produced by Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy and made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 16 before being screened at AFI Docs on June 24. Netflix will be releasing the documentary on August 3. Watch the trailer below:

Here’s the official synopsis for Pray Away:

In the film (executive produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum), former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions. Focusing on the dramatic journeys of former conversion therapy leaders, current members, and a survivor, PRAY AWAY chronicles the “ex gay” movement’s rise to power, persistent influence, and the profound harm it causes.

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