Out in the Silence NR

Amazon Instant Video

(37) IMDb 7.1/10

Following the story of a small American town confronting a firestorm of controversy ignited by a same-sex wedding announcement in the local newspaper.

Starring:
C.J. Bills, Diane Granley
Runtime:
57 minutes

Out in the Silence

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Product Details

Genres Documentary, Comedy, Kids & Family
Director Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Starring C.J. Bills, Diane Granley
Supporting actors Linda Henderson, Roxanne Hitchcock, Mark Micklos, Kathy Springer, Joe Wilson
Studio Qwaves
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

I'm sorry, but I didn't see any real Christians in that documentary, other than that pastor.
Deee!
Its fluid storytelling, high production values, and compelling characters pulled me in from the opening moments, and engaged me to the very end.
Tom F
A very human story that will serve as a useful tool in promoting discussion and understanding among different people.
WaterSheep

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By James Klingger on December 11, 2009
Format: DVD
This film reminds me of an Agnes Varda documentary: you start out thinking it's about one thing, but it turns into quite another.

The story begins when the filmmaker runs an announcement of his marriage to another man in his hometown newspaper in the small, conservative town of Oil City, PA. Not surprisingly there is quite a backlash, especially from the head of a local right-wing fundamentalist group. But instead of spending the next hour on the pros and cons of same-sex marriage, the filmmaker begins to explore what it's like to be gay or lesbian in a rural community.
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Soon, the film evolves into a completely different set of interrelated stories about a gay youth who is being tormented at the oil City High School and his brave mom, two women who are trying to build a business, and a fundamentalist preacher who has second thoughts about the consequenceses of his religious pronouncements. Each character is wonderful in their own way, but I especially liked the mother, Kathy, who is like a lioness fighting for her cubs.

Despite the serious subject matter, the documentary has plenty of joy and humor. I was fortunate to watch a preview screening in my home town with a supportive audience, and they were alternately crying, laughing and cheering.

This is the best documentary I've watched in a long time. The real beauty is that it's not just for the already enlightened. Nobody with a heart could watch this film and not be deeply moved.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Hall on January 30, 2010
Format: DVD
I grew up in the mountains of western Pennsylvania in a place similar to the setting of this documentary. In the late 1970's and 1980's it was unheard of for anyone in my school to "come out." I doubt I would have known what that meant. This documentary beautifully reveals the pain experienced by gays trying to cope with life in small town America. The pacing is effortless. The intimate way the camera reveals the main characters lives illustrates the power of documentary to inspire empathy for "the other." The fascinating curveball in Oil City is the local American Family Association chapter, which is unusual but serves as a convenient metaphor for larger forces in the nation. I wish I could have seen a film like this when I was a teenager. I was most impressed by the gradual shift in the attitude of Evangelical Pastor Mark Micklos. Though all is not well in small town America, this work shows that progress is possible. Everyone who lives in rural areas and in small cities should watch this DVD.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By WaterSheep on December 29, 2009
Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to catch an advance preview of this documentary, and sincerely hope it will be seen by as many groups and individuals as possible. As somebody very familiar with a similar community in Pennsylvania, I found the film an important window into small town America's slowly changing outlook on homosexuality and tolerance. While the filmmakers are open and upfront about their own point of view, they provide a nuanced, compassionate portrait of the residents of Oil City Pennsylvania. A very human story that will serve as a useful tool in promoting discussion and understanding among different people.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Martin on October 22, 2010
Format: DVD
This is an interesting if mostly predictable movie. The drama of a gay kid in a redneck high school is the predictable part, although the kid in this case is unusually appealing. That is partly because he has an almost Brando-like look and quiet, macho strength about him, but mainly because he seems so perfectly NORMAL. He has a gentle manner, but there is nothing about him that would flag him as gay. So his decision to come out was perhaps especially brave because he is not the sort everybody would already know is gay. That is how he comes across in the movie, anyway: just a normal teenage kid whose main interests seem to be sports and hot rods, not fashion and Madonna.

But there is nothing new in his story: gay kid gets abused at school; teachers and school board turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, refusing even to address the issue; Mom is loving and supportive but lacks the confidence and resources to fight the system alone - until the ACLU gets involved.... You know the rest.

But what is extraordinary in this movie is a local pastor named Mark Micklos. He is one of the people who wrote to the hometown paper objecting to the Joe Wilson/Dean Hamer wedding announcement that was the catalyst for the whole movie. Wilson begins by interviewing him and his wife, and as he is with most of his interviewees, Wilson starts out pretty defensive. But although they disagree about gay marriage, Micklos refuses to spar with Wilson about the issue. Instead, he insists on keeping a dialog open and on trying to show Wilson the love of Jesus instead of arguing with or attacking him.

What is amazing and deeply gratifying is that it works. Almost against his will, Wilson begins to trust him. They never agree, but they become real friends. By the end of the movie, the greatest change is in Joe Wilson himself. He is less defensive and more tolerant of those who are intolerant of him. If all Christians were like Mark Micklos, the world would be a much better place.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tracy A. Sherman on September 9, 2010
Format: DVD
This movie is excellent. I was born in Oil City & moved outside of Washington DC after I graduated from college. I'm really glad this film was made because no one from outside of this area believes me that places like this still exist today. I graduated high school in 2001 with Diane Gramley's son (in a class of 63 people) and remember how difficult she made everything. I've seen many people get mistreated simply because they are gay, black, Latino, etc. I myself am 1/2 Latina and heard some pretty horrible things. I would recommend this movie to everyone.
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