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Riggs`s stories are fierce examples of homophobia and racism: the man refused entry to a gay bar because of his color; the college student left bleeding on the sidewalk after a gay-bashing; the loneliness and isolation of the drag queen. The stories also affirm the black gay male experience: protest marches, smoky bars, snap divas, humorous musicology, and vogue dancing.
Special Features:: · A 1991 interview with Director Marlon T. Riggs
· Interviews with Issac Julien, Filmmaker; Phill Wilson, AIDS Activist; Juba Kalamka, Spoken Word and Rap Artist; Herman Gray, Cultural Critic
· Seven minutes of Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
· Closed captioning for the hearing impaired
Top Customer Reviews
On a personal level, the screening came at a time when I was still coming to terms with my own sexuality and struggling somewhat. The documentary (and my fleeting meeting with Hemphill, who attended the screening) changed how I was to feel about myself as a black gay man forever. After seeing it available for years and years on (exorbitantly priced) VHS only, I was over the moon when I learned it was finally to be released on DVD. I ordered my copy immediately.
Filmmaker Marlon T. Riggs produced an angry, defiant and in-your-face piece of work that was revolutionary in more ways than just the one. For starters, it reportedly unleashed a huge backlash from the Christian right in the US and Federal funding for the arts came under a real threat. Largely using the poetry of Essex Hemphill, who also appears in the piece, (Is it a documentary or is it a piece of art? I'm still not really 100% sure), along with storytelling, dramatisations, song, dance & movement, and talking heads mostly against a pitch-black background, Riggs lays it all out on what it meant to him to be a black gay man back in the late 80s.Read more ›
This may make past viewers teary. Both the artists on the cover of this documentary died of AIDS-related causes more than a decade ago.
This work speaks about voguing, snapping, gay racism, Black homophobia, being a double minority, and many other issues very relevant to Black, gay men. Some thought it was sexist that Black lesbians are not included; however, others say it would be problematic if Black gay men were speaking for Black lesbians. This documentary talks about many dynamics that affect men mostly or solely.
To some, this may seem old-school or essentialist. There's all this focus on "the down low" nowadays. However, this documentary showed Black men who were proud of being gay and were open about it.
Viewers who enjoy this visual work may want to read "Brother to Brother," edited by Essex Hemphill, one of the men on the cover.
This documentary was revolutionary when it premiered. Jesse Helms and Far Right politicians attacked it greatly a few decades ago. This is an important factor in the "culture wars" pre-Bill Clinton.
You can't fail by seeing and owning this magnificent work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Documentaries, well timed, make a difference. Especially when they are of the quality of this 1989-91 documentary about black men loving black men. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Grady Harp
Magnificent work from two artists, tragically lost. A generation of gay men were lost, and the scythe fell especially hard on Black gay men - as it continues to do today. Read morePublished 11 months ago by W. Handy
Excellent film. Riggs' experimental approach captivates as well as provokes. Would recommend this film to everyone who is interested in the intersectionality of identities.Published 20 months ago by Stephanie Anderson
Completely realistic and not at all an exaggeration, A perfect representation of the lifestyle that the act of homophobia implemented on minorities who didn't fit their idea of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by drefrancis
Marlon Riggs film explores racism within the Gay community and how many African-American Gay cope with the situation.
A powerful film and message.
I loved the history that was shared. It affirms pride, courage, and vision. I believe families will benefit from this presentation.Published on August 17, 2013 by Accepted
This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it.Published on February 9, 2013 by Photographer and book/music lover
Maybe I was misunderstood the purpose of this film, but it was just okay. Actually, I wanted to fast forward through parts but I stuck it out.Published on January 17, 2013 by clcraw1