Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision

2007, Society  -  70 min Leave a Comment
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Director Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon takes a personal - and local - look at the controversy involving infant male circumcision in his documentary, Cut.

A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ungar-Sargon interviews professors from that school and from the University of Chicago as he examines the pros and cons, ethical and physical, of a procedure that, for Jews, has signified the covenant between God and Abraham for centuries.

It's a relative newcomer in the United States, routinely performed only since the post-Civil War/Victorian period in the belief it discouraged masturbation and prostitution. On-camera experts debunk more recent health benefit claims.

Ungar-Sargon queries his Orthodox Jewish father and brother as he wrestles with his own feelings about the procedure, which some consider a human rights violation; he also calls on mohels and rabbis, mothers and fathers who follow the tradition and men who regret their circumcisions (the footage of the foreskin-regenerating Tugger device alone makes this unsuitable for younger audiences).

Viewers are left with a pretty clear notion of what the Orthodox Ungar-Sargon will do if and when he has a son, but in this informative and thought-provoking film, he gives both sides their say.