The LGBT Health & Development Program

Young Queer Cinema Events: Chicago

Posted on March 19th, 2012 by Farrin in Allies, Youth Blog. 2 comments

It’s the rev of summer film festivals and young queer themes are in abundance this week in Chicago.  Below are several cinema events you’re not gonna want to miss! Mark your calendars:

Cinema Q II Series Films:

WHERE: Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., Claudia Cassidy Theater
Chicago, IL 60602 | map |

WHEN: Wednesdays at 6:30pm, Admission is FREE!

I KIlled My Mother, March 21

The film, which screens Wednesday as part of the Queer Film Society’s Cinema Q discussion series, gained notice at Cannes in 2009. In French with English subtitles, the film centers on a gay teenager played by Dolan. And though his sexual identity impacts his relationship with his mother, it is not the cause of their frequent standoffs (with one exception), nor is even the movie’s main focus. This is a point worth pausing over for a moment, because “I Killed My Mother” is one of a new breed of coming-of-age films, featuring young gay protagonists, that are not, strictly speaking, narrowly focused “coming out” films.

“I was expecting a film really orbiting around sexuality and gay kid problems a lot more exclusively than it does,” Davis said. “Instead, it plays out as a series of negotiations between this guy and his mother.”  It’s more about the struggles of a teenager and parent, living in close proximity. And that tension — a push-and-pull that veers from needy and affectionate to outraged petulance — is precisely what this semi-autobiographical indie aims to capture. The title is tongue-in-cheek. No one is killed, but the caustic drama is no joke, despite a sly undertone of dark humor rippling through each scene.

(read the full Tribune article)

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, March 28

Long before Martin Luther King, Jr. became a national figure, Bayard Rustin routinely put his body — and his life — on the line as a crusader for racial justice. Rustin’s commitment to pacifism and his visionary advocacy of Gandhian nonviolence made him a pioneer in the 1940s, and captured King’s imagination in the 1950s. In 1963, with more than 20 years of organizing experience behind him, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the historic March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever witnessed.

But Rustin was also seen as a political liability. He was openly gay during the fiercely homophobic era of the 40s and 50s; as a result, he was frequently shunned by the very civil rights movement he helped create. The compelling new film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin chronicles Rustin’s complex life story, a tale of race, prejudice, and idealism at the heart of 20th century America. Though he had to overcome the stereotypes associated with being an illegitimate son, an African American, a gay man and a one-time member of the Communist Party, Rustin — the ultimate outsider — eventually became a public figure and respected political insider. He not only shaped civil rights movement strategy as a longtime advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr., but was known and respected by numerous U.S. Presidents and foreign leaders.

“Bayard Rustin was an extraordinary American who’s been slighted in the historical record because he was gay,” says filmmaker Nancy Kates. “We wanted not only to correct that record but also examine what Rustin’s amazing life teaches us about issues of equity and the fight for social justice.”


Evanston Public Library: The Wise Kids


WHERE: Evanston Public Library (Main Library)
Community Meeting Room
Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201  | map |

WHEN: Thurday, March 29th at 7pm, Admission is FREE!

A free screening of Stephen Cone’s 2011 independent film, The Wise Kids. Winner of the Grand Jury Award for screenwriting and dramatic feature at LA’s OutFest and included on 4 “Best of 2011” lists including the Chicago Tribune (Michael Philips) and Chicago Reader (J.R. Jones), The Wise Kids is the moving story of three southern teens as they finish high school and grapple with the open questions of their future and is a nuanced coming-of-age tale about coming-out, friendship, and faith. Writing about the movie in the Chicago Reader, J.R. Jones calls the movie “lovely” and notes that, “Given the ongoing friction between gay rights and Christian fundamentalism, what really distinguishes The Wise Kids from most gay films—in fact, most films, period—is how evidently Cone respects religious devotion.” This free screening will be followed by a discussion with Cone as well as Tyler Ross, one of the film’s three stars. Teens and adults only.

“Acutely conceived… An unusual example of what can be termed a “gay Christian” film, Cone’s feature is among the best of a recent spate of dramas observing American Christian life. …A brilliant cast of young actors.” -Robert Koehler, Variety

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