The political is personal in the LGBT world, where struggles for freedom, equality and acceptance are both public and private affairs. Among the 200 films at Frameline 34: the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (June 17-27), a handful of documentaries explore that point where politics become personal.
“Stonewall Uprising” is a fascinating film by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner that sheds new light on the seminal 1969 event that triggered both the gay liberation movement and the world’s first Pride festival. Combining archival footage, dramatic re-enactments and eyewitness interviews, the film (part of the PBS American Experience series) most notably depicts the harassment and oppression that triggered the historic rebellion.
“On These Shoulders We Stand” from director Glenne McElhinney explores the early decades of the gay rights movement in Los Angeles through the eyes of a handful of heroic activists.
“Sex in an Epidemic” is Jean Carlomusto’s exploration of how the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s gave rise to the safer sex movement in the United States.
“Out of Annapolis” is Steve Clark Hall’s film that explores eleven gay graduates of the Naval Academy and their experiences before and after the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“8: The Mormon Proposition,” directed by Reed Cowan and narrated by Oscar-winning “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, reveals the overwhelming out-of-state support from Utah’s Mormon Church in funding California’s anti-gay marriage initiative.
“The Adonis Factor” by director Christopher Hines explores the personal politics of male attraction and physical beauty through the eyes of gay men whose desire to fit in and be accepted leads to body obsession and the search for eternal youth.