QDoc Festival is thrilled to bring you the long-awaited documentary about Vito Russo as the Closing Night film.
Sunday, May 20th, 7pm
Kennedy School Theater
(5736 NE 33rd Avenue)
Tickets: $9 general/ $7 senior/student
Presented by QDoc with community partners Equity Foundation, Our House of Portland, and Cascade AIDS Project. Director Jeffrey Schwarz in attendance.
Russo was one of the most articulate, charismatic voices for gay rights since the early Gay Liberation days in 1970s New York. His parallel passions for cinema and gay rights came together in the book The Celluloid Closet, a groundbreaking study of gay and lesbian imagery and themes in film that remains a landmark in the field, and which subsequently became a major documentary film. As one of the founders of GLAAD, Russo led the charge in demanding an end to homophobic portrayals of gays and lesbians in the media. As AIDS engulfed the gay community, Russo became one of the most ferocious critics of the Reagan administration’s response to the epidemic and a tireless advocate for people with AIDS.
Jeffrey Schwarz’s comprehensive and moving film tells Russo’s story through the voices of many of his friends and colleagues, among them Lily Tomlin, Armistead Maupin, Felice Picano and Larry Kramer. Intimate interviews with family members evoke a touching picture of Russo’s parents’ gradual embrace of everything he stood for. The epic nature of Russo’s place in a turbulent history is dynamically captured in a wealth of archival material. VITO captures the essence of this remarkable man whose courage and wisdom will be celebrated for generations to come.
VITO: Dir Jeffrey Schwarz 2011 USA 93 minutes.