Victoria Cruz investigates the mysterious 1992 death of black gay rights activist and Stonewall veteran, Marsha P. Johnson. Using archival interviews with Johnson, and new interviews with Johnson's family, friends and fellow activists.
Catherine Shugrue Dos Santos
Best of the Fest! An amazing, powerful, and engaging film
"Brother to Brother" just won the two most coveted awards at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival - otherwise known as Outfest. The Audience Award for Best Feature and the Jury Prize for Best Feature! And I was one of over a thousand queerfolk who voted them into the first award. This film is amazing!
The Harlem Renaissance was a seminal period in African American history; one that can be seen to have repercussions through to Stonewall and beyond. Sadly, it was one of the only times in our history where African American queers and other "outcasts" created and published their own voices for the world to see, read, and hear. And hear it they did.
Some of the most powerful and important queer poetry and prose were written during this time by the likes of the incredible Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, and of course, Bruce Nugent; one of the main characters in this story.
Over the course of befriending Perry, a present-day artist/student trying to find his own voice in the world, Bruce recounts some of his own history with his radical, groundbreaking friends.
The film is exquisitely composed. The music created for "Brother to Brother" is eloquent and evocative and perfectly reflects and tints the images and perspectives within the story. Organic timing creates an engaging flow of story and character which passes back and forth from past to present and back; revealing at once how much and how little has changed over the last 80 years of Black (and queer) history.
All in all, this film ends as handsome Perry begins to find a clearer path for himself in the world. It ultimately gives us much of value that is even more than the sum of its respective parts. Most importantly, it shows us ourselves - beautiful, flawed, real human beings who seek nothing more than to have a voice, to give and receive love, and to make life as good as it can be.
This is one film which fully deserves its place in movie theaters and in DVD collections.
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