Brother Outsider brings to the South African gay and lesbian film festival a thrilling and important story – the life and work of Bayard Rustin, the gay man who mentored Martin Luther King. A visionary crusader, Rustin has been called the “unknown hero” and the “invisible man” of the American civil rights movement.
Why invisible? Because he dared to live openly as gay man during a time of homophobia so fierce that it kept most LGBTI people deeply closeted.
Why an outsider? Because as a black gay man he challenged stereotypes within both the black and the white establishments of his time – stereotypes that still affect black gays and lesbians in our world.
Brother Outsider is a moving and engaging record of Rustin’s life. It reveals the price he paid for his openness. It chronicles his triumphs and his setbacks over 60 years—including his role as chief organizer of the huge 1963 March on Washington.
Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, this inspiring film has been shown throughout the world. But, until now, it has not been shown in Africa. Critics have hailed it as “alive with ideas, fast-paced and surprising, and rich in humanity” (Africana.com) and as “a brilliant documentary that everyone should see” (Bay Area MetroActive). The film-makers Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer will be attending Out in Africa. Their story is one that will warm South Africans, black and white, gay or straight, while making them reflect on what remains to be done for justice in our own country.
Director Singer and Walter Naegle, Rustin’s life partner, are guests of the Festival. Justice Cameron will introduce the screening on 5 Sept in JHB.
Winner of 25 awards and honors, including:
- eight Best Documentary awards
- seven Audience Favorite awards
- GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary
- Turin IG&LFF 2003 – Jury Award for Best Documentary
- Chicago L&GFF 2003 - Jury Award
- San Francisco IL&GFF 2003 – Audience Award for Best Documentary
- Outfest/Los Angeles L&GFF 2003 Audience Award for Best Documentary