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Black Nations/Queer Nations?
Producer: Frilot and Black Nations/Queer Nations?
1995
Color
52 minutes
US
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Black Nations/Queer Nations?
Lesbian and Gay Sexualities in the African Diaspora
This is an experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 groundbreaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African diaspora. The conference brought together an array of dynamic scholars, activists, and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid, and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political, and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender peoples. The video brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and contemporary black gay media production. The participants discuss various topics: Black and queer identity, the shortcomings of Black nationalism, and homophobia in Black communities. Drawing upon works such as Isaac Julien's "The Attendant" and Jocelyn Taylor's "Bodily Functions," this documentary illuminates the importance of this historic conference for Black lesbians and gays.
Reviews
"...an exceptionally lively and intelligent documentary." - Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
"Shari Frilot’s 1995 film, Black Nation/Queer Nation? is essential viewing for students interested in the history of Black queer studies." - Stefanie K. Dunning, Films for the Feminist Classroom
"In this 1995 documentary, director Shari Frilot highlighted the need to bust open static concepts of race, sexuality, and even nation-states." - Roya Rastegar, Colorlines
"Capturing the event with propulsive energy, this extraordinary cultural document offers a unique chance to witness brilliant minds expounding on matters of race, sexuality, and their intersection." - Black 90s Film Series, Brooklyn Academy of Music
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