Gay Essential Documentaries to Watch, Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives

The first of its kind, Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, is a documentary born out of an idea film maker Peter Adair had to create an identity of the LBGT community defined by the LBGT themselves that would address the question, “Who Are We”?

The full-length documentary is told from the perspective of the LBGT community.  Comprising of 26 interviews filmed over a period of 5 years, the film aimed to depict a before-and-after of what life was like for the gay and lesbian community after the rise of the gay liberation movement in 1968.

The structure of the documentary is allocated into 3 sections: “The Early Years,” “Growing Up,” and “From Now On.” Interviewees were especially chosen to represent the diversity in lifestyles and backgrounds, and ranging in age from 18 to 77. The first two sections are largely devoted to the 26 interviewees, among which are: the eldest of the group, 79 year-old, Elsa Gidlow, Pam Jackson and Rusty Millington (lesbian mothers), drag queen Tede Mathews, and Harry Hay and John Burnside (middle-aged couple). “From Now On,” pays tribute to the numerous dimensions of gay politics. The documentary films the interviews using frontal medium to close shots to establish a more personal and empathetic understanding between subject and audience.

Word Is Out

Critics

“Extraordinary, groundbreaking documentary.”
   Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

“Strangely enough, our knowledge of what’s to come makes Word Is Out that much more affecting, because it shows that there were—and are—pockets of peace amid the brutality of an ongoing civil-rights struggle.”
Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Did You Know?

The interviews part of the iconic documentary, Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, were later transcribed into a book form published in October, 1978 of the same name.  Of the original 250 interviews, only 26 were selected to tell their stories in the film. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll

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