Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ...
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Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who... See full summary »
An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.
The highlights of a 12-hour interview with Aaron Payne, alias Jason Holliday, a former houseboy, would-be cabaret performer, and self-proclaimed hustler who, while drinking and smoking ... See full summary »
This film travels through fantasy and reality as Joris Ivens goes to China to capture the wind. The film reflects the filmmaker's journey from Pour le Mistral (1966), his first film on the ... See full summary »
Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last ... See full summary »
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »
Ross McElwee Jr.
In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »
Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill reciting his poetry, Riggs telling the story of his growing up, scenes of men in social intercourse and dance, and various comic riffs, including a visit to the "Institute of Snap!thology," where men take lessons in how to snap their fingers: the sling snap, the point snap, the diva snap. The film closes with obituaries for victims of AIDS and archival footage of the civil rights movement placed next to footage of Black men marching in a gay pride parade. Written by
Marlon Riggs' documentary "Tongues Untied" left a brief, but definitive
impact on me. This documentary about gay African-American men reveals
several poets, preachers, activists, and scholars. There is no
narration in "Tongues Untied". Instead, all the dialogue is spoken in
philosophical rhymes and poems. The documentary showcases, and even
full-on exposes its praise for the black homosexual lifestyle, in an
artistic and flamboyant fashion.
As a filmmaker myself, I was drawn into how Riggs was able to explain
the persecution of homosexuals without having a sit-down interview, and
instead uses stand-up performances, poetry, and symbolism to prove his
point. From the confines of a gay black man's isolation and loneliness,
to the exciting experiences of the San Francisco "Castro" district,
Riggs took the audience to some fascinating, and often times deplorable
world that gay black men face every day of their lives.
I was a little annoyed by the pacing of the film. There were some parts
that had me yawning. But "Tongues Untied" sends a powerful message of
tolerance, culture, and tradition from a filmmaker who is sadly no
longer with us. This documentary captured my attention, and I enjoyed
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