Preview: The Tribeca Film Festival

4.26.2009

By Mike Berlin

Off and Running
Directed by Nicole Opper

It's somewhat incredible how many heartrending issues are simultaneously crammed into Off and Running, a documentary that chronicles two years in the life of an adopted black teenage girl, Avery, who was raised by two Jewish lesbians. A picture-perfect bastion of American multiculturalism, the close-knit family also consists of her younger Korean brother and older biracial brother. At the age of 16, Avery feels an innate urge to learn more about her birth mother, and, with the support of her adoptive parents, begins an epistolary correspondence with her. But when the letters from mom stop arriving, Avery throws herself into a self-destructive spiral, severely distancing herself from her parents and almost ruining her chances at an athletic scholarship to attend college. The viewer will initially be angered by Avery's actions -- she even chooses not to attend her mothers' civil union in Canada -- but will also feel frustrated with the extremely difficult position she is in. Brought up in all-white, Jewish elementary school and now attending a predominantly African American high school, she struggles to identify with either race because she is viewed as an outsider by both. Told honestly, without political motives, Off and Running delivers an intriguing look into the new American family and the subtle complexities of its composition.

Plays:
Thu, Apr 30, 1:00PM
Sat, May 02, 3:00PM

Outrage
Directed by Kirby Dick

Outrage is a furious indictment of closeted American politicians who hold markedly anti-gay voting records, yet lead markedly gay private lives. The familiar public faces of this 'special committee' include Larry Craig (of wide bathroom stances) and Mark Foley (of illicit instant messaging); while other, less public cases, include tanned Florida Governor Charlie Crist, former New York mayor Ed Koch, Virginia congressman Ed Schrock, and many others who will (hopefully) be receiving some special attention from the media in the coming weeks. Aside from the schadenfreude elicited by the documentary's outings, Outrage exposes the don't-ask-don't-tell hypocrisy of the Republican Party at its seediest. The politicians themselves represent a stereotype that anyone who has ever been closeted is familiar with: the gay man who covers up his sexuality by continuously increasing his own external (and sometimes internal) homophobia. Sure, Outrage comes on strong with its convictions -- it includes the stories of former lovers and friends who tell all. But the documentary also reveals how damaging these politicians are to the gay rights movement. In this respect, it's poised to serve as a catalyst to expose of those who govern one way and live the other.

Plays:
Tue, Apr 28, 5:00PM
Fri, May 01, 8:00PM

Making the Boys, a documentary-in-progress about the making of The Boys in the Band will be playing at the following times:

Mon, Apr 27, 4:30PM
Sun, May 03, 10:00AM

There will be a panel after the April 27 showing, featuring Tony Award-winning producer and documentarian Dori Berinstein, Making the Boys director Crayton Robey, The Boys in the Band playwright and screenwriter Mart Crowley, The Boys in the Band actor Laurence Luckinbill, Executive Producer of The Boys in the Band Dominick Dunne, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, television personality Carson Kressley, and others after this special work-in-progress screening.

Ticket and screening info for all of the films above:

LGBT Films at Tribeca

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