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Sunday, 15 April 2012 15:15

Q-Fest, Part 2 Includes fiction and nonfiction, features and shorts

Q-Fest, Part 2 Includes fiction and nonfiction, features and shorts amazonaws.com
Written by Diane Carson
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St. Louis’ fifth annual Q-Fest continues with feature narratives and documentaries plus short subjects. Three excellent documentaries headline the fest’s second half: Vito, Jan’s Coming Out and This Is What Love in Action Looks Like. The nonfiction Vito profiles gay rights leader Vito Russo, including his landmark history of gays in film, The Celluloid Closet.

Vito’s courageous, public stands receive deserved praise and discussion. The second documentary This Is What Love in Action Looks Like describes the experiences of 16-year-old Zach Stark. After Zach announces his gay status to his parents, they enroll him in a Love in Action program, one that argues homosexuality is wrong and merely behavioral. Subsequent events lead to LIA’s 2007 closure, showing the power of constructive action by Zach, other clients, and those who support them.   

In “What Do You Know?” (the short that precedes This Is What Love in Action Looks Like) six to twelve year old students in Alabama and Massachusetts answer questions from “what does gay mean?” to “what do your teachers do when they hear it?” While anecdotal and unscientific, the candid responses offer a revealing snapshot of these boys and girls, some of whom have two moms or dads. In that Q&A style, the third documentary, Jan’s Coming Out, illustrates the diversity of the lesbian community by listening to over two dozen women describe their lesbian experiences. Two St. Louisans included in the film will attend.

The Italian Purple Sea, based on a true story, offers plenty of melodrama but is also a superbly shot, well-acted dramatization of the hurdles and clever solution to two women’s love in 19th century Sicily. Less successful, the low budget, black-and-white Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same stretches a skit-length joke to an alternately amusing and annoying feature. Finding Me: Truth follows African-American men working out their romantic conflicts, sometimes histrionically, but also directly. Doing herself proud, St. Louisan Erin Greenwell will be on hand for her narrative, My Best Day, a fresh story about a uniquely dysfunctional family.

There’s plenty to choose from, withfilmmakers and actors attending many programs, all at Landmark’s Tivoli Theatre. For the more complete information, you may visit stlqfest.org or cinemastlouis.org/qfest.

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