Thursday, June 26, 2008

Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives

Way back in 1977, the Mariposa Film Group interviewed 26 openly gay and lesbian people, from college-aged to senior citizens, about their lives. The result is a two-hour documentary that aired on PBS. In many respects, the interviewees are typical folks, but their candor about their sexuality was striking for the late 1970's. Some of them had stood up to oppression and violent homophobic attacks; for example, a woman who was in the WAC in World War II told of the soldiers who would attack the lesbians because they weren't making themselves sexually available for their pleasure. All of them displayed tremendous personal courage in standing up for themselves. In some ways, we are light years removed from the world of the 70's, as we fight for marriage equality and other issues that were not even on the radar back then, but it is important to remember our collective history, and Word is Out provides a priceless window into that era. MUST SEE

Word is Out, dir. Mariposa Film Group, 1977 USA 124 min., restored print; DVD release is planned

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