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I Just Wanted to Be Somebody (2007)

Newsreels, commercials, and home movies are used to study the life and influence of Anita Bryant.






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Credited cast:
Anita Bryant ...
Herself (archive footage)


A look at Anita Bryant (1940- ), a beauty queen and pop singer who became a spokesperson for Florida orange juice and then for ballot campaigns first in Dade County, Florida, and then elsewhere to repeal gay-rights ordinances or to pass anti-gay laws. This film presents film clips of Bryant before, during, and after her national notoriety as the public face of fundamentalist Christian opposition to legal protections for homosexuals. The film concludes with writer Fenton Johnson's appraisal of Bryant, who gave a face to the opposition and on whom the campaign took its toll. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ithela aplos na eimai kapoia  »

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Infuriating but important
17 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very short documentary about Anitha Bryant and her vicious campaign in the 1970s against gays. It shows her commercials that started her career--then it shows news footage of her successfully defeating a proposal in Florida that was to stop discrimination against gays. The footage of her demonizing gay men was just horrendous--it's so wrong you just gasp and so hateful it boggles the mind. But we see where it lead to destroying her marriage and her life...and there's the infamous footage of her getting hit in the face with a pie during a news conference (my audience erupted into cheers).

This is an important historical document for all audiences. Younger viewers might not have a clue on who she was and her vicious campaign. But they should see this and know how it used to be for gay rights and what gay people had to fight against.

Curiously it ends with somebody reading a long (very long) letter that he wrote to Bryant and home footage of her which makes her look like a monster. It brings everything to a screeching halt and never really documents on how Bryant was defeated. Still this is a must see for younger audience especially. However, because of the ending, I can only give it a 7.

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