Broadcast on PBS in
July 1991, at the height of the nation’s fractious “culture wars,” Tongues Untied caused a firestorm.
Addressing the black gay male experience in America with a mixture of humor,
poetry, frankness, and unapologetically homoerotic imagery, Marlon Riggs’s video
polarized viewers and critics.
But Tongues Untied is far more than the sum of its controversy. Filmmaker Marlon
Riggs brilliantly juggles elements of documentary, anthropology, essay, and
autobiography, and creates a cumulative emotional effect through his
extraordinary sound and image editing. Today Tongues Untied is recognized as a
landmark of documentary and personal cinema. If, as Tongues Untied tells us,
“black men loving black men is the revolutionary act,” then Marlon Riggs
proved that black men filming black men loving black men was equally powerful.
Tongues Untied is preceded by a screening of the extremely rare film Behind Every Good Man.
This remarkable 1965 student film from Los Angeles is very possibly the first
ever made with an openly gay black man as the subject.
The screening is introduced by Andy Ditzler and followed by a panel discussion,
including Reginald Jackson (who appears in Tongues Untied), and other Atlantans
who knew and worked with Marlon Riggs.
Film Love is proud to screen these landmark works in collaboration with the Pink
Eye queer film series. The evening is curated by Kiki Carr and Andy Ditzler.
Program: Nikolai Ursin, Behind Every Good Man
(1965), 12 minutes, 16mm Marlon Riggs, Tongues Untied (1989), 55
Tongues Untied 20th Anniversary is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to rare but
important films, and seeks to increase awareness of the rich history of
experimental and avant-garde film. The series is curated and hosted by Andy
Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in
Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006.
290 Martin Luther King
Jr Dr Suite 8, Atlanta, GA, 30312