Podtalk: Director Richard Yeagley Observes ‘The Sunday Sessions’

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CHICAGO – The film ”Boy Erased” was released in November, a star-studded “based on real events” memoir film about the topic of “gay conversion therapy” (the rejected-by-the-medical-world notion of using techniques to convert a gay individual to straight). Director Richard Yeagley has produced a documentary on the same subject, “The Sunday Sessions,” which has more authenticity because it’s completely real. One more screening of the film will take place on January 16th, 2019, part of Gene Siskel Film Center’s “Stranger Than Fiction” series. Click here for tickets and details.

“The Sunday Sessions” is a searing fly-on-the-wall journey, that follows a young actor’s troubled two-year quest to change his sexual orientation. Although the practice is outlawed in many states, Nathan – a passionately committed Catholic in his late twenties – voluntarily submits to treatment by controversial therapist, a gay man who now boasts of a new heterosexual life that includes a wife and children. With unprecedented access to Nathan’s therapy sessions, which include bullying exercises and emotional confrontations with his parents, in addition to a stay at an all-male “conversion camp,” filmmaker Richard Yeagley lets the images speak for themselves as Nathan’s faith-based resolve is seen as increasingly at odds with his attraction to men.

Man on Fire: The Subject is Nathan in ‘The Sunday Sessions,’ directed by Richard Yeagley
Photo credit: Gene Siskel Film Center

This is director Richard Yeagley’s second documentary, after 2011’s “The Tradesman: Making an Art of Work,” which aired on PBS. He is the founder of Dickie Bruce Productions and co-founded Light Street Studios in Baltimore, Maryland. He works with a network of film and marketing industry experts to “develop, produce, distribute, amplify and measure the impact of branded entertainment.”

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Director Richard Yeagley of “The Sunday Sessions” talks about the implications of Nathan’s journey with conversion therapy, and the miles to go in changing minds about this trend.

“The Sunday Sessions” will screen at The Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 North State in Chicago – on Wednesday January 16th (6pm). It will be available for VOD download on February 5th. For more information on the Gene Siskel Film Center, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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