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On the Downlow
54 minutes
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On the Downlow

"On the Downlow" presents an intimate portrait of four men negotiating their bisexual desire within the African-American community of Cleveland, Ohio. These men selfdescribe as "dipping on both sides of the fence". The film showcases their secret lives and aspirations as it reveals the complex intersections of sexuality, race, class and family in contemporary middle America. We enter barely-understood sexual worlds to witness astonishing revelations, many of which have never been seen before.
Discounts available for high schools, public libraries and community organizations
"There are no perpetrators and victims in the film… Nobody is screaming that these men are responsible for the high rates of HIV infection among African American women… Child's film shows men who, while not necessarily conflicted about their sexual orientation, fear familial, institutional or societal repercussions for revealing the truth." - Anthony Glassman, Gay People's Chronicle, Cleveland, Ohio
"Child creates a compelling collective portrait of the physical, psychological and emotional travails of an underground lifestyle finally surfacing above ground." - Tribeca Film Festival, New York NY
"Abigail Child's film takes a sensitive and understanding approach to the interview subjects and to issues related to downlow sexuality." - NewFest, New York
"On The Downlow is a sensitively handled documentary focusing on bisexual African- American men in Cleveland who struggle to come out amidst the pressures of both the gay community and the black community." - Brooklyn Academy of Arts, New York
"Highly Recommended. This excellent documentary focuses on several African-American bisexual men living in Cleveland, OH, exploring their relationship to their parents and children, to women, to the HIV/AIDS crisis, to their own sexuality, and to society. These young men, ranging in age from 18 to mid-thirties, share how they think of themselves and esplain the various ways they present themselves to society…"On the Downlow" is highly recommended for class on gender, sexuality and African-American studies." - Martha Kelehan, Binghamton University, Educational Media Reviews Online
• Tribeca Film Festival, New York, 2007
• NewFest, The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival, 2007
• The Best of NewFest at BAM, New York, 2007
• Frameline 31, The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, 2007
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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Humanities NY, Ford Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and individual donors.