Britain’s LGBT history is the inspiring subject of the fifth Britain on Film on Tour programme.
With films spanning 1909 to 1994, it documents a century in which homosexuality went from crime to Pride, via decades of profoundly courageous activism, and the shifting attitudes to LGBT people and their rights across the board throughout a time of explosive social change.
Including some of the earliest known representations of LGBT people on screen, the collection includes a 1925 film on ‘Cutie Cattaro’, a boxer more interested in flirting than fighting and a drag queen, ‘Percy’ competing for a prize in 1909. Exploring the struggles and identity politics of the ‘80s and ‘90s, the films cover early AIDS victims recounting their painful experiences; the formation of the Gay Black Group, an early instance of intersectional thinking; and the 1980 fight for transgender rights in the European Court.
It’s a moving and fascinating collection, a social document encompassing both the collective public fight for basic rights and equality and more personal, intimate and psychological ones: the shedding of shame and the ability to be open about one’s most private self; the claiming of the right to love and to say publicly, proudly: this is who I am.
Please note: the programme contains a sequence of flashing lights which might affect audience members with photosensitive epilepsy.