Marlon Riggs’ essay film TONGUES UNTIED gives voice to communities of black gay men, presenting their cultures and perspectives on the world as they confront racism, homophobia, and marginalization. It broke new artistic ground by mixing poetry, music, performance and Riggs’ autobiographical revelations. The film was embraced by black gay audiences for its authentic representation of style, and culture, as well its fierce response to oppression. It opened up opportunities for dialogue among and across communities.
TONGUES UNTIED has been lauded by critics for its vision and its bold aesthetic advances, and vilified by anti-gay forces who used it to condemn government funding of the arts.It was even denounced from the floor of Congress.
1989 | AIDS/HIV / Black/African American / Coming Out / Documentary / Race and Culture / Racism / Social Issues | 55m | USA
Directors: Marlon T. Riggs
Marlon Riggs (February 3, 1957 – April 5, 1994) was an American filmmaker, educator (professor), poet, and gay rights activist. He produced, wrote, and directed several documentary films, including Ethnic Notions, Tongues Untied, Color Adjustment, and Black is… Black Ain’t. Riggs created aesthetically innovative and socially provocative films that examine past and present; and representations of race and sexuality in America. The Marlon Riggs Collection is now housed at Stanford University Libraries.