TONGUES UNTIED – 30th Anniversary Screening!
February 20 only
Co-presented by OUTlook, Signifyin’ Works, and Frameline Distribution
Post-screening Q&A hosted by Jamal Batts of Signifyin’ Works with André Singleton, founder of The Very Black Project. A special introduction will be made by Vivian Kleiman, also of Signifyin’ Works.
“Black men loving Black men is the revolutionary act.”
Tongues Untied, a film intended to “shatter America’s brutalizing silence around…sexual and racial difference,” premiered on October 26, 1989, in Los Angeles at the American Film Institute’s Video Festival and has reached hundreds of thousands since. Initially intended for black gay men, it gained a wide viewership through its politically controversial screening on PBS. The film has proven itself to wield a transcendent power over audiences across race, cultures, and time, with a message whose honesty and poetry would presage the work of visual, performance, hip-hop, spoken word, and multidisciplinary artists to this day. It is now considered by many film historians to be the origin of “experimental documentary” and was recently featured on The New York Times list “28 Days, 28 Films for Black History Month.” Tongues Untied
Jamal Batts is a writer and doctoral student in the Department African American and African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley. His work explores blackness, queerness, visual culture and the intricacies of sexual risk and risk-taking. His writing has appeared in the catalogue for The New Museum’s exhibit Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon and the SFMOMA’s website in conjunction with their Modern Cinema series. He is a member of the Oakland-based curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic.
André Singleton is a respected social justice, civil rights, and human rights activist, a multi-disciplined artist, and dancer. Singleton founded brohogany.tumblr.com in 2009, a unique blog that documents the travels, art and perspective of a proud Black and queer man. He is also the co-founder of The Very Black Project, a popular social awareness initiative that celebrates the African Diaspora. His work inspires pride and encourages people to respect one another so that our communities can be enriching for all of us.
Dir. Marlon T. Riggs, USA, 1989. 55 min. Digital.