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USA, 2011, 93 Minute Running Time
Topics: Biopic, Gay/Lesbian, History, Political
Program: True Stories
Language: English

A riveting documentary about an endlessly fascinating man: Vito Russo is probably best known for his seminal book The Celluloid Closet (1981), a revelatory work which traced the portrayal of gay and lesbian characterst throughout the history of the cinema. Russo subsequently toured the US, Europe and Australia with a show that encompassed a live lecture and copious film clips, but it was his work as a gay activist that had an even more profound effect on the day-to-day lives of gays. From the early 1970s, when he became active in the Gay Activists Alliance, through his co-founding of GLAAD in 1985 in response to homophobia in the media (and its sensationalized portrayal of the AIDS crisis, in particular), Russo was on the front lines of the Gay Liberation movement. His eloquent activism on behalf of ACT UP helped galvanize that movement, which ultimately changed the course of the government’s response to HIV in this country. Fascinating clips, interviews with key players in the story and copious footage of Russo himself combine to create a vivid portrait of life, before, during and after Vito.

Director Jeffrey Schwarz is expected to attend both the 1/14 and 1/15 screenings.

DIRECTOR: Jeffrey Schwarz
Producer: Jeffrey Schwarz
Editor: Philip Harrison
Cinematographer: David Quantic
Music: Miriam Cutler
Principal Cast: Lily Tomlin, Amistead Maupin, Larry Kramer, Bruce Vilarich, Michealangelo Signorile, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Filmography: Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon (2007), Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)
Print Source: Automat Pictures, Inc. -

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