Media Arts Program
 

Saturday, November 11, 2000

WAYS IN BEING GAY

Presented at:
Hallwalls

PARAGRAPH 175 (Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman, 1999, USA, 81 min, 16mm). David Butler introduced the film with a reading/performance on Buchenwald, a concentration camp he visited in former East Germany in 1998.

The pink triangle is easily one of the more popular and widely recognized symbols for the gay community. The history of the pink triangle begins before WWII, during Adolf Hitler's rise to power. Hitler revised Paragraph 175, a clause in German law prohibiting homosexual relations, in 1935 to include kissing, embracing, and gay fantasies as well as sexual acts. Convicted offenders -- an estimated 25,000 just from 1937 to 1939 -- were sent to prison and then later to concentration camps. Paragraph 175 is a feature documentary built around the personal stories of eight of the ten surviving homosexual men who experienced persecution under the Nazis. The film features remarkable interviews with the survivors (many of whom are in their 90’s). Woven throughout is extensive archival footage from gay 1920’s Berlin, known as a "homosexual Eden." Paragraph 175 won the Documentary Jury Prize for Directing at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and the Fipresci International Critics’ Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Hallwalls is pleased to present a major new film from the directors of The Times of Harvey Milk and The Celluloid Closet, preceded by a special spoken-word performance by Buffalo’s own David Butler.

Interdisciplinary artist David Butler will introduce the film with a reading/performance on Buchenwald, a concentration camp he visited in former East Germany in 1998. Butler has performed at Art Dialog Gallery as both a featured reader, and as a musician with composer Don Metz as part of the gallery's Words and Music program. He has performed his original work at the Burchfield Penny Art Center, the New Phoenix Theatre (Naked Stories-Fully Clothed, Ways in Being Gay 1998), The Cabaret Theater, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, and The Screening Room. In the summer of 1998, Butler produced and starred in productions of two of his original short plays Coming Out of the Car, and The Last Knight of Fondele Park as part of Toronto's 10th Annual Fringe Festival