Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
Director & writer of a startling documentary, Arthur Dong, does great
research of anti-gay hate crime murderers; some of whom are currently
on US death rows: Donald Aldrich (Killer); Corey Burley (Killer);
Raymond Childs (Killer); William Cross (Killer); Kenneth French
(Killer); Jay Johnson (Killer); Jeffrey Swinford (Killer).
Award winner of 2 prestigious Sundance Film Festival awards, the Directors & the Filmmakers Trophies, Arthur Dong has become more renowned since producing "Licensed to Kill." His documentary goes beyond the pale of simple-minded media headlines (that miss hundreds of brutal anti-gay hate crimes in the US each year) of anti-gay murders by scrutinizing the killers themselves. To no one's surprise, many claim they feel 'licensed' by preachers they've heard to do "God's work": murder gays. While others claim they's been violently &/or sexually abused as children (usually by their own straight, white fathers-97% of the time).
In 1977, gaybashers attacked filmmaker Arthur Dong. Perhaps this event led to his personal reason for filming face-to-face cell block interviews with murderers convicted & sentenced to death for killing gay men. Cutting to the chase, Dong asks on-point, "Why did you do it?" These death row inmates use the typical variety of lame excuses: 1) The number 1 reason is the 'God told me to' anti-gay hate-crime defense party line. Considering what key televangelists the late Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, J.D. Kennedy, Pat Robertson et al, publicly instigate through their anti-gay sexually obsessed 'sermons', it's no wonder blaming God for murdering gays is hate-criminals' top ranked sense of being 'licensed to kill' by US anti-gay sexual supremacists.
2) Claims they are justified to kill gays as protection from his murder victim's sexual advances is the number 2 gay murderers' defense party line. This popular excuse among lawyers is known as the "gay panic" defense. Apparently, anti-gay murderers don't know how to say the easy word, "No," & walk away, if a same-gender person flirts with them! Instead they go ballistic & kill. Note: this is specific to anti-gay men who murder gay men & has nothing to do with women.
3) The claim that 'I am a victim of child abuse who fears losing my manhood', is the number 3 most likely excuse these murderers & their defense lawyers use. Sometimes law enforcers collaborate with this defense.
4) The 'homeboys' depraved mentality that stalks for "easy prey' excuse; straight men who go out of their way to guess & stalk men they perceive are gay; pretend to be gay themselves & pick up gay men; then, kill them for sport.
5) The 'I don't want gays in the military with me' excuse. These unfortunate soldiers have no clue they're already serving with thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people in the US & other nations' militaries! Many of the anti-gay murderers are delusional enough to believe they're righteously doing a murderous God's & a sexually-supremacist US government's authorized work by ridding the world of non-heterosexual people.
(See Dr. Gregory Herek's research on anti-gay hate crimes for more stats & do view this starling true (1997) film. It reveals how anti-gay murderers are victims of untruth: especially US neo-Christian-fundamentalist-supremacist politicized propaganda).
It's scary & intriguing that believing in this propaganda has already led to murders of many heterosexuals who were perceived to be gay!
Famous feminist writer, Toni Morrison, deserved to win a Pulitzer Prize
for her historical novel that represents Black American's struggles
with slavery and freedom.
How anyone, let alone hundreds of voters here, could rate this marvelously directed & performed film a 1 is beyond me. Oprah Winfrey is the leading lady of the cast who ultimately demonstrates what is an Oscar-entitled performance.
Sethe, the character Winfrey plays is one of the most complex & challenging ones that I can imagine for any actor to take upon themselves. In fact, Winfrey stayed so true to her character, in my mind, she became Sethe: a former slave mother, a million & a half miles away from a Oprah the billionaire guest show host in Chicago! Danny Glover also gave a grand performance that was equally far from any other role I've seen him play. He & Winfrey together are a fine big screen match who I hope are in movies with Pulitzer prize winning plots as thick as is this one.
I was at a conference called "Gendered Spaces" in 1994 when one of my
favorite feminist writers surprised me by showing up to present her
film. It was "Reassemblage," an ethnographic study of a thriving
African community: Senegal.
It is ever so typical for the US mainstream, tunnel-visioned & repetitious mass media (especially on cable or satellite) to search for the tragic horror shots of starving, bug eaten African citizens. They are bare breasted women, near naked men (if any men are filmed at all), with a host of babies & children whose bellies are swollen from near starvation being shown to the US public viewer.
Is it any wonder that American citizens have been misled to believe that Africans are "primitive," ignorant, non-self-sustaining people looking for US handouts?
Trinh T. Minh-ha carries a video camera herself, doing video-ethnography, nearly whispering as she films what she's seeing in the West African village: people who are thriving, self-sustaining & obviously extremely in touch with the environment since their food gardens are abundant & their bodies are quite healthy looking.
At the feminist conference where she presented her outstanding documentary, it was quite controversial because the mainly women audience of hundreds was upset with Trinh for focusing, as she did, on the naked breasts of the African women. In fact, she centered her film around them.
But, the astute filmmaker explained that she focused & centered her film on the African women's breasts because the village did. That photographs & films have been shown previously depicting dried out, empty women's breasts that were not capable of sustaining the lives of their offspring because they too were starving to death. (While the media cameraman probably had at least a sandwich for lunch!).
The abundance of food, the thrivance of the village as well, were represented by the full bossomed healthy & strong working African women.
I always wanted to know the details of the Jean Harris murder story.
However, because I kept to scholarly reading, I didn't want to take the
time or money to buy the books & magazines about her circumstances.
Now that I've seen the show, I have a greater understanding of the background history & consequential events that led to Harris's trial & conviction.
My knowledge grew because I witnessed riveting performances by a host of veteran actors: ones that I have grown to trust NOT to be involved in shameless mockeries of the truth, like the "Path to 9/11" is. I'm more curious to go back & read the books, newspapers & magazines about "Mrs. Harris."
Powder couldn't help being born different. He also couldn't change that
he possessed extraordinary abilities. But, once taken from his natal
home into mainstream US society, he was taunted, harassed & made to
feel like a freak simply because his physical appearance was a little
different & his sensitivities were heightened.
I rated this film a 10 because it has the solid potential to reach a wide audience including families with children; yet, an interesting enough plot to hold an adult's attention. The message about tolerance from the film is powerful.
It deals with a disability subject rarely, if ever, viewed in theaters or movies. I strongly recommend that people (like the US Presidential candidates, Congress members, religious 'leaders', officers of the courts & law, plus school children of all ages) be required to see this film before ever being called a 'public servant' or attending public or private schools.