Special Screening: OUT IN THE NIGHT

out in the nightComing to NYC’s Maysles Cinema as part of the Doc Watchers series this Thursday, September 4: OUT IN THE NIGHT

blair dorosh-walther’s exploration of injustice faced by a group of African-American lesbians debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It went on to screen at Human Rights Watch, Frameline, and Outfest, with upcoming screenings at New Orleans, Oakland Underground, and LGBT fests in Chicago, Atlanta, and Austin, among others.

I previously profiled the film as dorosh-walther was finishing a successful Kickstarter campaign to complete the story of the “New Jersey 4,” a subset of New Jersey lesbians who became involved in a violent altercation in NYC’s West Village stemming from homophobia, yet found themselves railroaded by the media and the justice system despite clear evidence of self-defense. The filmmaker elicits compelling interviews from the young women and their families, creating a richer sense of their distinct personalities and character, serving as a counterbalance to their sensationalized portrayal as a “gang” that instigated the violence. Covering a lot of ground in a probably too-condensed running time – the incident, the media’s portrayal, the women’s version, portraits of the women and their families, and their fates within the justice system – dorosh-walther nevertheless succeeds in enraging the viewer by laying bare the confluence of racism, sexism, and homophobia that confronted these women and others like them on a regular basis, and which came to a head that night in August 2006. Cogently confronting complex questions of innocence and guilt, the film serves as a provocative indictment of and challenge to tacit, institutionalized inequalities that permit only some to resist maltreatment but insist that others simply acquiesce.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations

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