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 continues to provide inspiration and incite debate among artists, academics, and activists. The work’s continuing and critical relevancy is evidenced in the continuing HIV/AIDS crisis, the changing housing markets it anticipates, the shifting legacies and concerns of experimental art, and the largely queer leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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 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.

Community partners: Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Shanti Project, California Newsreel, and Radar Productions.

Dir. Marlon T. Riggs, USA, 1989. 55 min. Digital.


TONGUES UNTIED - 30th Anniversary Screening!: Upcoming Showtimes