A short documentary film that explores the complex relationship between religion and gender identity, told through the stories of those living in the divide.
In a religion based on a binary gender divide, there are those that have always sat in the middle, or danced on both sides. Unknown is an important exploration into Judaism’s distinction between male and female, and the resulting power dynamic it creates for the religion and the people of faith within it. Through the story of one person’s search for a place of their own in Judaism, comes the fuller story of a religion created and unmoving on a binary system. The eternal separation of genders seems insurmountable for those living outside male or female identities. Unknown introduces the audience to a world within Judaism that is creating space for all people that does not require the leaving of religion or of self identity. Through academic philosophers, Rabbis, lay leaders, and poets, the film merges the theory and reality of Judaism’s gender divide. With stories of gender transition, loss of family and faith communities, Unknown explores what a two system gender world does to stifle exploration of self and each other. Unknown raises questions of performance, ritual, and faith while challenging the audience’s concept of gender in their own life.
Sasha Perry is an award-winning freelance documentary filmmaker and videographer based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Sasha started in film by covering local protests against nuclear testing sites, animal abuse, and the poor treatment of the city’s homeless population. Escaping Las Vegas, Sasha moved to California, and earned a BFA in Film Production at Chapman University, while continuing to promote social justice through creative and engaging filmmaking. Two of Sasha’s first films traveled around the world playing at film festivals in Japan, Germany, South Africa, and more.
Currently Sasha is working on a feature length documentary exploring the use of Terrorism to scapegoat activists in the US, editing a short “Whatinit Abafazi,” about the stigma and effects of HIV/AIDS on youth in South Africa, and directs/edits a monthly web series on vegan nutrition and athleticism. Sasha has also facilitated video literacy and advocacy training workshops in Hebron, Palestine and Nekkies, South Africa. An avid athlete, Sasha also lends film skills to AdventureCORPS events, including a 508 mile bicycle race, and a 135 mile ultra-marathon in Death Valley, filming and editing for the race’s live webcast. Outside of film Sasha continues to raise support and funds for environmental, animal rights, and LGBTQ groups by organizing benefit shows, vegan brunches, and letter writing campaigns in Los Angeles.