More than two dozen men and women of various backgrounds, ages, and races talk to the camera about being gay. Their stories are arranged in loose chronology: early years, fitting in (which ... See full summary »
More than two dozen men and women of various backgrounds, ages, and races talk to the camera about being gay. Their stories are arranged in loose chronology: early years, fitting in (which for some meant marriage), disclosing their sexuality, establishing adult identities, and reflecting on how things have changed and how things should be. Some speak as couples and some as singles. One lost her children in a custody decision, one was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army, two were sent to insane asylums. All see social progress as they reflect. News footage and a few vocal performances provide breaks as topics shift. Written by
Far from a "clunker," "Word Is Out" is a beautifully edited collective portrait of a moment in gay and lesbian history in the US. The film captures the optimism of the late 1970s after the early headiness of the g/l movement and before the horrors of HIV/AIDS. Most documentaries focus on a small number of subjects, but "Word" manages to weave together the stories of 26 men and women of different ages and backgrounds, primarily from the SF Bay Area and the Northeast, but with some reference to the Southwest and the South. The effect is to demonstrate that no single narrative of g/l life is adequate.
Displaying humor, tact and candor, the film is a "must see" for younger g/l/b/t people for whom 1977 is ancient history. Rumor has it that the film will be released on DVD with updates on most of the participants this fall.
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