Riggs was the rare black artist who created work not for white pity or pleasure, but for black affirmation. This is how a black artist responds to a repressive regime.

— Charles Stephens, Advocate

Tongues Untied

Film • Dec 18

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Join us for a compilation of works by pioneering filmmaker Marlon Riggs, addressing issues of black gay male identity and confronting HIV/AIDS. Marlon Riggs was dedicated to confronting the urgency of the AIDS epidemic in African American communities, especially among black gay men. He died of HIV/AIDS in 1994.

Anthem 

An experimental music video asserting a defiant homoeroticism of African American male sexuality.

1991. USA. 9 min. NR

Affirmations

Explores black male dreams and desires and is framed by the poetry of Essex Hemphill.

1990. USA. 10 min. NR

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)

A poetic and intimate film presenting moving testimonials and portraits of five black gay men.

1992. USA. 38 min. NR

Tongues Untied

Marlon Riggs’ essay film Tongues Untied gives voice to communities of black gay men, presenting their cultures and perspectives on the world as they confront racism, homophobia, and marginalization. It broke new artistic ground by mixing poetry, music, performance and Riggs’ autobiographical revelations. The film was embraced by black gay audiences for its authentic representation of style, and culture, as well as its fierce response to oppression. It opened up opportunities for dialogue among and across communities.

Tongues Untied has been lauded by critics for its vision and its bold aesthetic advances, and vilified by anti-gay forces who used it to condemn government funding of the arts. It was even denounced from the floor of Congress.

1989. USA. 55 min. NR

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USA. The entire program will run 112 minutes. Not Rated.
NR