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Appalachian’s 10th Queer Film Series Focuses on human rights and health care

BOONE—A series of films addressing human rights and health care issues will be shown during the 10th Annual Queer Film Series at Appalachian State University.

All films will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Room 114 in Belk Library and Information Commons on campus.  Screenings are free and open to the public.  Discussion will follow the film.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 13, “Milk” (2008, USA. 128 minutes.)  In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his assassination in 1978, a hero for all Americans. Academy Award winner Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk under the direction of Academy Award nominee Gus Van Sant.  Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, “Outrage” (2009, USA. 89 minutes.) Academy Award nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick delivers a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community they covertly belong to. “Outrage” boldly reveals the hidden lives of some of our nation’s most powerful policymakers, details the harm they’ve inflicted on millions of Americans, and examines the media’s complicity in keeping their secrets. With Tony Kushner, Larry Kramer and Congressman Barney Frank.  Rated R for some language and sexual references.

Tuesday, Oct. 27, “Training Rules” (2009, USA. 62 minutes.) No drinking. No drugs. No lesbians.  These were the training rules of women’s basketball coach Rene Portland whose reign at Penn State for more than 20 years was finally unseated as the result of a newsmaking legal case.  This documentary examines how women’s collegiate sports, caught in a web of homophobic practices, collude in the destruction of the lives and dreams of many of its most talented athletes.  Directed by Dee Mosbacher, who received an Oscar nomination for “Straight from the Heart,” her 1994 documentary about gay children in deeply religious families.  Not rated.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, “Fight Back Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP” (2003, USA, 75 minutes.)  In March 1987, the first AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) event took place on Wall Street. In the 22 years since the protest that shut down the world’s financial center, ACT UP has been at the forefront of public awareness. Their demonstrations, die-ins, political funerals, marches and speeches were key in propelling issues related to HIV/AIDS into major political and international topics. With fierce images and speeches, including many poignant ones by film historian and ACT UP pioneer Vito Russo, “Fight Back Fight AIDS” is a dynamic alternative historical record of the queer political landscape, HIV/AIDS, and AIDS activist video. Not rated.

Tuesday, Nov. 17, “Hannah Free” (2009, USA.  86 minutes.) Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town, where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, family denial, and end of life decision-making issues.  Stars Sharon Gless from “Cagney and Lacey” and “Queer as Folk.”  Unrated.

Film series sponsors include Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social Work and Multicultural Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Jill Ehnenn at, Dr.  Kim Hall at or Dr. Davis Orvis at