All LGBT Documentaries

The Most Hated Family in America– 2012 Documentary (90 minutes) – – About Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, the group that protests at the funerals of servicepersons killed in action.

Out of Annapolis– 2010 Documentary (73 minutes) – – Explores the lives of LGBT Alumni of the US Naval Academy. Here they share their experiences while at Annapolis and while serving in the naval service. Directed by CDR Steve Clark Hall ’75, OUT of ANNAPOLIS first screened at the Naval Academy in a yard-wide presentation in the Mahan Hall Auditorium 25 April 2011, five months before the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” came to an end. Those with access to the Naval Academy’s VoD system on the Yard may view the film ON THIS LINK.

The Rejected– 1961 Documentary (59 minutes) – – Aired on KQED over half a century ago, a documentary thought lost, was recently unearthed at the Library of Congress by the nobly persistent archivists bent on finding and preserving obscure films. Originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) — the predecessor of WNET — the documentary first aired on Sept. 11, 1961, on KQED Ch.9 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Rejected attempts to find a humane, “objective” and unemotional take on “the problem” of homosexuality — at that time, a revolutionary approach to the subject.

Gay Documentaries

Vito– 2011 Documentary (93 minutes) – – The story of Vito Russo, author of “The Celluloid Closet,” and AIDS activist in the 1980s. It is unlikely that mids can identify with Vito, but what should be of interest is how this unique era and the media portrayal of gays shaped the minds of the American public, particularly the generation of current Midshipmen’s parents. It should help mids understand why their parents feel about gays and lesbians as they might. The film also shows the pandemic decimation of the generation of the gays who were born in the 50‘s and early 60’s.

The Invisible Men– 2012 Documentary (68 minutes) – – This film was produced by Yariv Mozer, a Major in the Israeli Army, it reveals how Tel Aviv is the only safe place for gay arabs in the Middle East. It won the juried “Best Documentary” at Frameline in 2012.

Gay Narratives

Lilies– 1996 Drama (96 minutes) – – This was a film festival audience favorite. Set in 1950‘s Canada, a Bishop visits a Québecois prison to hear the confession of a boyhood friend jailed for murder that happened in 1912. The Bishop is forced to watch a play performed by other inmates. The film is an adaptation from a French Canadian play by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau who in a cameo role is the only woman who appears in the film. This was Greyson’s best film, and his others still sell out at festivals with the audiences saying “not like “Lillies.”

Big Eden– 2000 Drama (118 minutes) – – This was another film festival favorite, mostly because if the feel-good nature of the film, but not a reality as Montana is not a gay friendly place. Not sure what lessons can be learned watching this, though, as it is a bit too make-beleive.

Brokeback Mountain– 2005 Drama (134 minutes) – – Applies to mids & jo’s who are in denial. It’s still happening.

Lesbian Documentaries

Training Rules– 2010 Documentary (62 minutes) – – Another Penn State sports sex scandal, this time how Penn State turned a blind eye from Connie Portland, the homophobic women’s basketball coach, so she could oppress the sexuality of the girls on the team.

Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story– 1995 TV BioDrama (91 minutes) – – Glenn Close plays the title role.

Lesbian Narratives

If These Walls Could Talk 2– 2000 TV Drama (96 minutes) – – Three generations of lesbians dealing w/ their issues. Vanessa Redgrave won a Golden Globe. This is NOT a sequel to If these Walls Could Talk.

Transgender Narratives

Transamerica– 2005 Drama/Comedy/Adventure (103 minutes) – – Although a narrative, this film show many of the day-to-day issues facing members of the Trans community that most of us don’t think about. Felicity Huffman (a Desperate Housewife) got an oscar nomination for her role as the pre-op transexual. When we saw at Frameline 2005, we walked out of the theatre dazzled “so this is what some of the trans people face…”

Boys Don’t Cry– 1999 Drama based on true story (118 minutes) – – The story of the life of Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen who preferred life in a male identity until it was discovered he was born biologically female. Hilary Swank won her first Oscar® for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Some other films that tell some interesting stories:

Andre’s Mother – An American Playhouse production of an Off-Broadway play about a woman who returns to NY for the funeral of her son, who had recently died from AIDS during the pandemic.

Tales of the City – The fun 6 part series flmed for PBS in the early 90’s, well before it was OK to be gay in the USA.

Paris 05:59 – The story of two guys who meet in a club in Paris.  After their encounter, the spend the rest of the night discussing what happened and now what to do about it.  Was festival audience favorite in just about every LGBT Film fest that year, except SF which has a very strange voting scheme.  In French with American English subtitles.  

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