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Special Collections

The Queer Essentials Collection

This package of essential Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender titles is a must for any educational collection.  It offers a powerful survey of LGBT experiences from award-winning directors, and includes best-sellers and classics from TWN's five decades history of providing social issue media by and about people of color.  Featuring the works of Thomas Allen Harris, Abigail Child, and Shari Frilot.  Receive a 50% discount when you purchase the entire series.

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Dagmar Schultz
2012, 79 min., Color, Germany
2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Audre Lorde’s passing, the acclaimed Black lesbian feminist poet and activist. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Lorde’s incisive writings and speeches defined and inspired the women of color, feminist and LGBT social justice movements in the United States.
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Shari Frilot
Producer: Frilot and Black Nations/Queer Nations?
1995, 59 min., Color, US
This is an experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 groundbreaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African diaspora. The conference brought together an array of dynamic scholars, activists and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgendered peoples. The video brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and contemporary black gay media production.
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Charles B. Brack
Producer: Charles B. Brack, CoProduced with Third World Newsreel
2008, 58 min., Color, US
EDUCATIONAL VIDEO-ON-DEMAND STREAMING NOW AVAILABLE: twn.tugg.com/titles/dreams-deferred
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Peter Barbosa & Garrett Lenoir
Producer: Peter Barbosa
2003, 56 min., Color, US
“I Exist” is a documentary exploring individual journeys of Lesbian and Gay people of Middle Eastern cultures living in the United States. The cultural and religious challenges that many Lesbian and Gay Middle Eastern people endure are unparalleled. This documentary shows the journey many take in learning how to join both their cultural heritage and sexual identity. Even with these challenges, stories of hope emerge and show that a family's love can always win over hatred and ignorance.
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Prem Kalliat
1990, 25 min., Color
This video offers a profile of a transsexual and her community in the Indian city of Bangalore. It provides a unique insight into the lives of Hijdas, a society of eunuchs numbering in the tens of thousands who have thrived in India for centuries. The Hijdas work as prostitutes and are a close-knit group who live and work communally. Jareena, who assumes the role of a man when she visits her family, explains this duality and how the Hijdas helped her form her identity and assert her true self.
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Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson
Producer: Third World Newsreel
1995, 60 min., Color, US
EDUCATIONAL VIDEO-ON-DEMAND STREAMING NOW AVAILABLE: twn.tugg.com/titles/a-litany-for-survival
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Thomas Allen Harris
2011, 15 min., Color, US
A documentary that connects the Lesbian and Gay Marriage Equality movement with the Black Civil Rights Movement.
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Abigail Child
2006, 54 min., Color, US
"On the Downlow" presents an intimate portrait of four men negotiating their bisexual desire within the African-American community of Cleveland, Ohio. These men selfdescribe as "dipping on both sides of the fence". The film showcases their secret lives and aspirations as it reveals the complex intersections of sexuality, race, class and family in contemporary middle America. We enter barely-understood sexual worlds to witness astonishing revelations, many of which have never been seen before.
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Richard Fung
Producer: Gay Asians Toronto
1985, 56 min., Color, Canada
More than a dozen men and women of different Asian backgrounds speak frankly about their lives as members of a minority within a minority. They speak about coming out, homophobia, racism, cultural identity and the ways that being gay and Asian have shaped who they are. Active in Canadian lesbian and gay organizations, the Asian community, the women's movement, unions, the arts and human rights work, their commitment and outspokenness challenge the stereotype of passive Asians.
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Sonja de Vries & Rhonda Collins
2000, 60 min., Color, US
Convicted of the 1983 U.S. Capitol Bombing, and "conspiring to influence, change, and protest policies and practices of the United States government through violent and illegal means", Laura Whitehorn, an out lesbian and one of six defendants in the Resistance Conspiracy Case, spent 14 years in prison. "OUT" is the story of her life and times: five tumultuous decades of struggle for freedom and justice. Whether you agree or disagree with radical left politics, this is a documentary that will challenge you to think about what you might be willing to risk for your own beliefs.
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Alan Domínguez
Producer: Alan Domínguez, David Domínguez & Jennifer Warren
2011, 55 min., Color, US
In 2008, 18 year-old, Mexican-American Angie Zapata was found dead in her small apartment in Greely, Colorado. The media quickly reported that she was a typical teenager – she loved using her cell phone, babysitting her nephews and nieces, and listening to music. What was not reported was that Angie was born as Justin. That same year, there were 44 reported murders of transgender persons worldwide and the United States Congress was beginning to debate whether or not to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal hate crime law.
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Testing the Limits Collective
Producer: Testing the Limits Collective
1989, 30 min., Color, US
In 1987, the Ronald Reagan administration faced criticism from AIDS activists for its mismanagement of the AIDS crisis. Chanting "Test drugs, not people" and "Educate, don't isolate", activist groups took to the streets of New York City to denounce mandatory testing as a discriminatory practice and to demand more HIV/AIDS research and educational initiatives. Shot by the Testing the Limits Collective, this video is an informative record of the early struggles against the federal government's inaction over the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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SupaFriends, Daniel Feliciano, Amanda Moscoso, Tatiana Lam Lo, Corina Leu & Alcides Torres
Producer: SupaFriends & Global Action Project
2007, 3 min., Color, US
This short animation is a remake of the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice". We find three very queer mice in a lot of trouble when their rights are being violated. Based on real events.
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Teresa Osa Hidalgo de la Riva
Producer: Deep Dish TV
1994, 28 min., Color, US
This video explores the Native American belief in “Two Spirit” human androgyny. A combination of the ability to love another of the same gender, to encompass “masculine” and “feminine” attributes within the same person, to be many things at once. This unique documentary compiles interviews with Native Americans from throughout the Americas and works to redefine difference and the complexities of sexuality and culture.
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Thomas Allen Harris
1995, 72 min., Color, US
VINTAGE is an experimental documentary which looks at three African American families through the eyes of lesbian and gay siblings--including the filmmaker and his younger brother. Three groups of queer siblings use video cameras to articulate the multiple stories that co-exist within the space of family, negotiating sexuality as a point of departure to explore these relationships. VINTAGE crosses the boundaries of truth, gender, time and power to create a collective and autobiographical portrait of modern American families.
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