Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives
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A milestone! --Dennis Lim, New York Times
FIVE STARS! ! It could crack the stoniest heart. --Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Top Customer Reviews
I had just purchased one of the first vcr's, and I taped it. That tape has lasted me all these years, but its physical quality (color, sound etc) obviously has deteriorated. And so I've often wondered when if ever it would be available on dvd. Well, some thirty years later, its finally "coming out".
Simply put, it must be considered one of the great works in gay history (and herstory), and is required viewing for anyone interested in understanding the on-going struggle for basic human rights and personal dignity. Documentaries (even awful ones) provide a fascinating glimpse at finite periods in time. Fortunately, this is a great one. It's beautifully edited and presented, with interviews of gays and lesbians, ranging in age from 20-ish to 70-ish. I believe one of them is Harry Hay, who was a founder of The Mattachine Society in about 1950. (He is currently the subject of a wonderful Off-Broadway play "The Temperamentals"). Other names will be familiar as well (the participant's are identified by name only in the final credits, at least on the vhs tape version).
This film was made just ten years after Stonewall, and the participants are all admirable for their courage in stepping before the camera at a time when it was not only unfashionable, but possibly dangerous, to reveal personal details of a "life style" still illegal in most jurisdictions. To a person they are incredibly articulate. The film does not tell a chronological story, and has no point of view per se.Read more ›
Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or knows any GLBT people should appreciate this film. And any member of the GLBT community should consider this mandatory viewing as an obligation to their own history, and those who came before.
The film is comprised of many gay, lesbian, and transgendered people basically talking about all aspects of their life. Epstein and his codirectors did a good job presenting a variety of lifestyles: Black, white, mothers and fathers, the very young to the quite old. This truly encompasses much of the GLBT experience, in an entirely unbiased way, with people simply speaking for themselves.
I recommend this to all people, but especially to gays and lesbians.
Thank goodness times have improved compared to what these people had to deal with in 1977 or even as far back as the 1940s and 1950s for some. There is still a long way to go, but this film does serve as a marker for how much progress has been made in the meantime. For example, one lesbian couple even though they were excellent parents to their kids from previous marriages had them removed from their home due to the type of environment the kids were being raised in.
There are some amazing interviews that get these people to open up about when/how they discovered they were different from others and how it affected their lives. How it affected those around them and the challenges with finding other like-minded people to communicate with. Many of them felt like they were all alone in the world. Also they talked about what they hoped for in the future in terms of rights for gays and lesbians. One very vocal woman said it had to be about women only fighting for women's rights and not worry about the guys since women have it tougher.
Many of these stories are emotional and talk of the hardships of being sent away to a mental facility and threatened with or had electroshock therapy used upon them to "cure" them. A few stories are on the funny side like a bunch of women dressing like men to join up in the armed forces.Read more ›
I really enjoyed the extras of the DVD -- such as the filmmakers' recollections, and the updates on the interviewees haunts me still - the time that has passed so quickly, the dreams unfulfilled and the hopes abandoned (both theirs and my own), and the enormity of the loss and devastation resulting from AIDS. I only wish that gays under 40 would take the time to watch this and "Before Stonewall" -- so many are completely oblivious to the struggles, sacrifices and heartbreak of our past, and how it led to the more accepting society we know today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of course this is an inherently "interesting" film because it features real people talking about their real-life experiences coming out (or not coming out) in a profoundly... Read morePublished 10 months ago by RANDEL
This is a wonderful video that concludes with a heartwarming speech. I can never tell anyone about this video without choking up.Published 10 months ago by John Komdat
Great interviews from the mid-70s - a MUST for any student whether age 14 or 104.Published 16 months ago by SF Paul NS
This is a wonderful film with honest and true stories. Every young Gay person would find this film enlightening and fascinating. Read morePublished on April 9, 2012 by Michael
The most surprising life stories that anyone can relate to! The most surprising thing is that even the film is from 1977 most of the topics are still highly relevant, 30 years... Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Manuel Pires
I first saw this film upon its release in the late 1970s. I journeyed from my Appalachian small town to the big city of Washington DC just to see it. Read morePublished on June 2, 2010 by R. Geatz
It was a long time coming. I first saw this film when it debuted in the 70s, then again on scratchy VHS in the eighties, and now finally on pristine digital DVD in the 21st... Read morePublished on May 24, 2010 by Amalgamated Me