Syrian Handyman

A Moment In The Reeds directed by Mikko Makela (2017) Finland deals with immigration from a gay perspective.

syrianhandyman

A Finn studying literature in Paris and a Syrian architect resettled in Finland meet in a small rural community.

Leevi is visiting his widowed father, who’s renovating the summerhouse in the woods before selling it, when Tareq arrives to help out with the project.

Both young men are estranged from their families because of their sexual orientation. While they are drawn to one another, the circumstances of their lives make an ongoing relationship a nearly impossible achievement.

A Moment In The Reeds is a Wild Beast Productions release available 4 December 2018 in the US and Canada on VOD and digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube Movies.

Also available in the US on DVD and Blu-ray through Amazon.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

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Compassionate Care

San Francisco was a major epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that ravaged the city in the Eighties.

compassionate care

5B directed by Dan Krauss (USA) 2018 focuses on the legendary AIDS ward of San Francisco General Hospital and its pioneering effort to provide holistic medical care and comfort to the many young gay men and others hardest impacted by a frightening new deadly disease.

Nurses were at the heart of this humane endeavor that included touch and hugs for the suffering rather than the impersonal approach that was standard procedure for the profession. Helped by dedicated physicians, partners, friends, volunteers, and family members.

While the decade of the Seventies involved the struggle for liberation, the following decade was one of death and devastation as well as rampant homophobia nationwide.

However, even here in this very liberal city and inside its prime public health facility, there was fear and strong resistance to the pioneering approach of the 5B staff. Ultimately the radical ward principles prevailed and 5B became a model of care for other cities and countries.

5B was the closing night feature of the 2018 San Francisco Documentary Film Festival at the Castro Theatre.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Got Milk!

Harvey Milk: His Lives And Death by Lillian Faderman. (2018) Yale University Press is a concise, well-written biography. A more satisfying work than either the Randy Shilts book or the Gus Van Sant feature film.

gotmilk!

Faderman’s book chronologically follows each phase of Milk’s life beginning with his childhood in an upper middle-class Jewish family on Long Island.

Intergenerational differences and conflict are there at the very start and remain as unresolved elements throughout his life.

Milk’s realization that he wasn’t quite like other boys and young men was a factor he dealt with in numerous ways. Homosexuality was almost universally condemned when he first realized he was gay. It was one of several important aspects that defined who he was and how he related to the world around him.

He tried various approaches in pursuit of a career he hoped would bring an overall sense of purpose in his life before settling on the one that was most challenging, satisfying numerous parts of himself, and leading eventually to his tragic death.

Harvey Milk is Lillian Faderman at her best and a valuable resource of LGBT history alongside her previous hefty publication, The Gay Revolution (2015) Simon And Schuster.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

 

What’s Left

Has The Gay Movement Failed? by Martin Duberman, University of California Press, 2018 evaluates the status of Gay Liberation Front radical politics today.

what'sleft

Duberman is an academic with a prodigious body of work but this book begins with three dubious assertions. He says that Gay Liberation Front spread to a half dozen cities and college campuses, that the Gay Revolution Party began in London, and Gay Activists Alliance broke from GLF in November 1970.

Out Of The Closets edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young, Douglas Books, 1972 lists over 75 Gay Liberation Front groups. I was one of the founding members of Gay Revolution Party in New York. And Wikipedia marks 21 December 1969 as the founding date of Gay Activists Alliance.

Fortunately none of these errors are necessary for the main thesis of Has The Gay Movement Failed? Duberman correctly cites Gay Liberation Front that began in New York following the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 as a touchstone of gay left politics.

Marriage equality is certainly the antithesis of the ideals espoused by GLF because it involves acceptance of and inclusion into a flawed institution rather than demanding its dismantling and replacement by a more just and equitable social arrangement.

The book concludes with examples of current straight left attitudes relating to LGBTQ issues that seem not to have changed much over nearly half a century. Ignored, trivialized, denigrated. And at the end the question in the title remains unanswered.

Has The Gay Movement Failed? Is an interesting read but not the definitive work about an important subject that merits more comprehensive study.

I’d like to see a closer look at Gay Liberation Front politics and strategies, including both its successes and failures. Also a more detailed analysis of other radical and progressive LGBTQ groups and individuals outsides the mainstream.

It’s obvious to me that within weeks of its founding, there were individuals in GLF eager to abandon the ideals of transformative personal and societal liberation for the comforts of mere rights and acceptance of the status quo.

Our current challenge remains how to achieve the benefits of a better world for everyone instead of continuing to privilege just a few.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Not Listening

The Sign For Love directed by Elad Cohen and Iris Ben Moshe Israel (2017) is a documentary about a deaf gay man.

notlistening

Elad divides his time between hearing family members and a group of deaf friends. He’s closest to Yaeli, a deaf woman who wants a child.

The two of them decide to not only have a child together but to share an apartment and raise the baby as a couple.

While Yaeli’s mother is supportive of her, Elad has many unresolved issues with members of his biological family.

The Sign For Love reveals some of the unanticipated complexities involved in relationships that will surprise viewers.

It screens a second time at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38 on Friday 27 July 2018 at Albany Twin, Albany.

Contact Jewish Film Institute for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 61

The 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 4 – 17 April 2018.

sfiff61

Venues this year include the Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, and YBCA in San Francisco; BAMPFA in Berkeley; and Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Four LGBTQI films to look out for are: Alex Strangelove, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, and My Life With James Dean.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

GAG Grows

Gays Against Guns began 2016 in New York within days of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida.

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About 750 women and men joined the GAG contingent of the New York Pride March the following week.

In early July informational tables were set up in the Pines and Cherry Grove before a solemn procession through the two predominately-queer Fire Island communities.

GAG subsequently protested several politicians its members characterized as puppets of the NRA.

Since then chapters were launched in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Orlando, and San Francisco.

For more information contact www.gaysagainstguns.net

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Tale Teller

The author of the popular series, Tales Of The City, tells his own story in Logical Family by Armistead Maupin, HarperCollins, 2017.

taleteller

Maupin has talked about his conservative family upbringing at book signings, radio and TV interviews, and also in films about him. Much of the material in his memoir is already public knowledge.

But for his many fans that have either never seen him in person nor been exposed to recorded interviews, the book offers an additional opportunity to be entertained by his writing.

What began as a conventional life rooted in Southern tradition and politics took an unexpected turn after the author’s move to the West Coast and eventual acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Maupin, a vocal promoter of his adopted city of San Francisco, has made a successful career for himself not only through his writing and speaking engagements but also with ancillary sales. These include television shows, films, theatrical productions, musical presentations, etc.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Summer Romance

Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino (USA) 2017 begins with the arrival of a summer intern in Northern Italy in 1983.

summerromance

Each year a Greco-Roman culture professor invites a grad student to help him with his research. This year it’s a tall, striking grad student named Oliver, who immediately captures the attention of the professor’s teenage son, Timothée.

Much of the film, and the novel by André Aciman it’s based on, is about the prolonged longing and unfulfilled physical contact of the two young men.

I put aside the book after reading perhaps the first third but the film held my interest from beginning to end.

Call Me By Your Name is now playing at The Landmark, Los Angeles and Paris Theatre, New York.

It opens 15 December 2017 at Century Centre Cinema, Chicago; Embarcadero Center Cinema and Kabuki 8, San Francisco; and E Street Cinema, Washington.

Also 22 December 2017 at Violet Crown Cinema, Austin; Shattuck 10, Berkeley; Houston 8, Houston; Hillcrest Cinema Five, San Diego; Monica Film Cener, Santa Monica; and Camelview At Fashion Square, Scottsdale;

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Queer Affair

There Is A Light directed by Fabio Mollo (Italy 2017 is about an unconventional relationship.

queeraffair

The film touches on numerous issues relevant to gays and lesbians and also to nonconformists.

The broadest is how we connect to others in the larger society, especially if we feel alienated for whatever reason.

Family is a highly valued social network that can offer comfort as well as the most extreme anguish.

Queer people are currently less inclined to marry other gender partners in the US. This might not be the case in Italy.

There Is A Light was one of the highlights of New Italian Cinema Events 2017 in San Francisco. It was the winner of the City Of Florence Award.

NICE USA 2017 moves next to New York City and Philadelphia..

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com