Vito (2011)

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The story of Vito Russo, founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of "The Celluloid Closet," and vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s.


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Credited cast:
Phyllis Antonellis ...
Richard Barrios ...
Richard Berkowitz ...
Lenny Bloom ...
Jay Blotcher ...
Malcolm Boyd ...
Himself (as Reverend Malcolm Boyd)
Joseph Brewer ...
Lee Brewster ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Marcus A. Conant ...
Himself (archive footage)
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
Michael Denneny ...
Mama Jean DeVente ...
Herself (archive footage)
(archive footage)


In the aftermath of Stonewall, a newly politicized Vito Russo found his voice as a gay activist and critic of LGBT representation in the media. He went on to write "The Celluloid Closet," the first book to critique Hollywood's portrayals of gays on screen. During the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, Vito became a passionate advocate for justice via the newly formed ACT UP, before his death in 1990. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Na gej heroj - Vito  »

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Features Auntie Mame (1958) See more »


Written by Buzzy Linhart and Mark Klingman
Performed by Bette Midler
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User Reviews

A good documentary.
25 July 2012 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I had never heard of Vito Russo before I watched this documentary, which makes me feel a bit bad. He was highly influential in both the gay rights and AIDS awareness campaigns, eventually dying of AIDS-related complications in 1990.

I have to admit, I was a little bit worried that the documentary would be too niche for me to enjoy. I had just watched a documentary about bird watchers in Central Park, and that had been a bit boring. So, when I saw that this was about a gay rights activist, I was a little skeptical that it might interest me, even though I'm a big supporter. It turns out that this is actually quite well done, with some interesting interviews and enough information that people like me can understand the importance and influence of Vito Russo.

As the documentary went on, I found myself more and more impressed with Russo, agreeing with him quite often. It would have been interesting to see what he thought of Clinton and his "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I have a feeling that Russo would have blasted Clinton for that. Unfortunately, we'll never know.

While not quite as good as Crumb or King of Kong, this is still a good documentary, and I can readily recommend it to anyone, as long as they're not homophobic. Russo was a progressive, so his politics may alienate Republicans, but I doubt that many of them are going to be watching this, anyway.

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