Free Tempe Screening of the Film

 ‘Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision’

4:30 – 7 p.m. Friday Feb. 17 – Tempe Mission Palms Hotel

Including Q&A Session with filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon

 A free movie that explores one Orthodox Jew’s journey as he examined the hard decisions surrounding circumcision, will be shown at 4:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 17 at Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 E. Fifth St., Tempe.

 “Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision” is a 70-minute documentary that examines the subject of male circumcision from a religious, scientific and ethical perspective. Its issues go far beyond the rites of Judaism to the wider implications of permanently altering the genitals of any non-consenting infant or minor, regardless of religion or culture.

 Using both research and interview footage of rabbis, philosophers and scientists, “Cut” challenges viewers to confront their biases by asking difficult questions about the longstanding practice of the cutting away the foreskins from those too young to grant their consent.  It has been called medically unethical and a violation of a male’s right to self-determination and body integrity. Rates of circumcision have fallen to 32.5 percent in the U.S. in recent years, according to the CDC, through education, human rights work and loss of insurance coverage of the procedure deemed unnecessary.

difficult questions about this long-standing practice. This movie teaches all – Jew and non-Jew – what circumcision actually does to a baby boy. Following the movie, the filmmaker will be conducting a Q & A. otage of rabbis, philosophers, and scientists, Cut challenges viewers to confront their biases by asking difficult questions about this long-standing practice. This movie teaches all – Jew and non-Jew – what circumcision actually does to a baby boy. Following the movie, the filmmaker will be conducting a Q & A. All are welcome to attend this FREE event, which is being held in conjunction with the Midwives Alliance of North America WESTERN REGION CONFERENCE 2012. Donations will be accepted at the door to help further educate people about the risks and problems associated with non-medically necessary infant circumcision. otage of rabbis, philosophers, and scientists, Cut challenges viewers to confront their biases by asking difficult questions about this long-standing practice. This movie teaches all – Jew and non-Jew – what circumcision actually does to a baby boy. Following the movie, the filmmaker will be conducting a Q & A. All are welcome to attend this FREE event, which is being held in conjunction with the Midwives Alliance of North America WESTERN REGION CONFERENCE 2012. Donations will be accepted at the door to help further educate people about the risks and problems associated with non-medically necessary infant circumcision.

This movie teaches all – Jews and non-Jews – what circumcision actually does to a baby boy. Following the movie, filmmaker Eliyahu Unger-Sargon will conduct a question-and answer session. All are welcomed to the free event.   The showing is in conjunction with the Midwives Alliance of North America Western Region Conference. 

 Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household in Brookline, MA. When he was 13, Eliyahu’s family moved to Israel where he lived until he was 19. He next enrolled in medical school in the United Kingdom, but three years into his medical training, Eliyahu decided to abandon medicine and follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Eliyahu has since earned two degrees from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cut is his first feature-length film.

 A  Jewish mother, Diane Targoviknik, whose son underwent a “brit shalom” ritual ceremony at Temple Solel in Scottsdale, will be on the panel for questions and answers. A brit shalom is Jewish naming ceremony of a newborn son where there is no cutting or removal of the foreskin.

 Donations will be accepted at the door to help further education people about the risks and problems associated with non-medically necessary infant circumcision and to foster the protection of human rights for boys and men by promoting genital integrity, the understanding of the healthy/normal whole penis and the prevention of medically unnecessary circumcision.    

 “I went into it with an open mind,” Ungar-Sargon said of the filmmaking process. “I was open to the information I was learning, trying to clarify and crystallize what I thought [about circumcision]. I had some serious questions before, but I did go in with a readiness to be changed by what I learned in either direction.” In his case, the “intactivists” won.

Though he still strongly identifies as a Jew, he believes circumcision is “assault, an inconsistency in U.S. law when it comes to permanently altering the genitals of males and females. Infant boys deserve the same protection as girls.”  Congress passed legislation making female circumcision illegal in 1996, and intactivists say that sets up a double standard  that violates equal protection under the law.

In his film, Ungar-Sargon interviews doctors, nurses, mohels, rabbis and prospective parents, all with a wide variety of views on the subject of circumcision. Many of his interviewees take a hard-line stance against it, calling it a violation of human rights.

An Orthodox man in the film, who appears without being silhouetted or digitally altered calls the practice “abusive” and refers to himself as “an abuser.” But Ungar-Sargon’s most fascinating interview is with his British-born father, Julian Ungar-Sargon, an observant Orthodox Jew, a neurologist and a believer in the importance of circumcision to Jewish identity.  For more information, see the Cut website: http://cutthefilm.com/Cut_Website/Home.html

The Phoenix chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information and Resource Centers and the chapter of the National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM), which meets regularly in Tempe, is involved in the promotion of the screening: http://www.norm-phoenix.org/default.asp

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