Coming Out Under Fire

Coming Out Under Fire
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Coming Out Under Fire

Il film si concentra sulle storie personali di nove lesbiche e gay e sulle loro esperienze come “indesiderabili” nelle forze armate americane durante la seconda guerra mondiale. Attraverso materiale di archivio il film fornisce anche una visione storica dei mutamenti dell’atteggiamento del governo americano nei confronti dei gay e delle lesbiche nell’esercito, fino ad arrivare al compromesso del Presidente Clinton con la politica ipocrita del “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”. Vengono forniti anche dati storici come la statistica per cui almeno 9000 uomini gay e lesbiche sono stati espulsi con disonore durante la II guerra mondiale.
Il film è particolarmente toccante quando i veterani raccontano dei loro momenti belli (i legami di amicizia e di amore con gli altri gay e lesbiche in tempo di guerra) e brutti (gli arresti e le espulsioni) e della loro vita quotidiana come omosessuali nascosti in un’organizzazione che li considerava non adeguati per il servizio militare e vedeva il loro orientamento sessuale come una malattia e come un pericolo per l’unità ed il morale degli altri soldati. Il film è trasto premiato in numerosi film festival (tra cui il Sundance Film Festival ed il Berlin International Film Festival). (R.M.)

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trailer: Coming Out Under Fire

https://youtube.com/watch?v=CF2GC6uOBJU%3Ffs%3D1%26hl%3Dit_IT

Varie

In 1993, the controversy over the US military’s ban on homosexuals touched off a furious and polarizing national exchange. Yet, for many Americans this issue seemed to come out of nowhere. Coming Out Under Fire, an hour-long documentary from Arthur Dong, goes to the World War II origins of today’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise. Based on Alan Bérubé’s groundbreaking book Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II, this program presents the true stories of those who found themselves fighting two battles: one for their country and another for their right to serve.

While current-day media coverage has shown Senators visiting barracks and submarine sleeping quarters, there has been little acknowledgment of the history and origins of this 50-year-old policy. “The media deals with emotions and hysteria, the sensationalism of the issue,” says Coming Out Under Fire producer/director Arthur Dong. “What we’re trying to do is bring that history out.”

Dong uncovers the history of a military policy that labeled homosexuals as mentally ill and sought their discharge as “undesirables.” The first-person stories of nine World War II gay and lesbian veterans recount how many joined the patriotic fight against fascism only to find themselves at war with their own government.

Coming Out Under Fire is a rare personal look at war, secrecy, and the pain of exposure. Powerful interviews are combined with an array of vintage declassified documents, photographs, and rare archival footage of medical examinations, psychiatric sessions, boot camp training, sex education lectures, and “drag” troop entertainment. By placing the issue in a historical and social context, Dong goes right to the heart of the military’s anti-homosexual policy and demonstrates how “pseudo psychiatry” was used to justify a policy of bigotry.

Co-written by author Bérubé, Coming Out Under Fire features gay and lesbian veterans who candidly share their memories of daily military life. They recall their willingness to serve their country in the face of oppressive and humiliating treatment that included dehumanizing interrogations, medical examinations, and incarceration in “queer stockades” and hospitals for the criminally insane. Finally, those discovered were punished with dishonorable discharges that stigmatized them in civilian life and denied them veteran benefits regardless of length or quality of duty served. (www.itvs.org)

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