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

Director:

Reviews
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Stars: Rita Mae Brown, Maua Adele Ajanaku, Red Jordan Arobateau
Short | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

Director: Jean Genet
Stars: Bravo, Jean Genet, Java
Mala Mala (2014)
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.

Directors: Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles
Stars: Jason Carrión, Paxx Moll, Alberic Prados
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright
Documentary | Biography | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The love story between British writer, Christopher Isherwood (whose book 'The Berlin Stories' inspired the musical and film Cabaret) and Don Bachardy, American portrait artist.

Directors: Tina Mascara, Guido Santi
Stars: W.H. Auden, Don Bachardy, Ted Bachardy
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay councilor.

Director: Rob Epstein
Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of matinee idol Tab Hunter from teenage stable boy to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Stars: Tab Hunter, Clint Eastwood, Connie Stevens
Victim (1961)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against a number of gay men in 1960s London.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price
We Were Here I (2011)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber
Stars: Ed Wolf, Daniel Goldstein, Guy Clark
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An arrogant fashion designer falls in love with an icy beauty who wants to be a model.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Taxi zum Klo (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films. He keeps his personal life and ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Ripploh
Stars: Frank Ripploh, Bernd Broaderup, Orpha Termin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Southern Comfort documents the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a transgender man. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear ... See full summary »

Director: Kate Davis
Stars: Robert Eads, Lola Cola, Maxwell Scott Anderson
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Na gej heroj - Vito  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Lawrence of Arabia (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Friends
Written by Buzzy Linhart and Mark Klingman
Performed by Bette Midler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page