The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine [HHRC] presents the 2016 Pride Film Festival, scheduled for Fridays in October at 7 p.m. at the Michael Klahr Center.
In honor of LGBT History Month, the Pride Film Festival encourages inclusion, discussion and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in central Maine. The HHRC will be screening four films that made a unique impact in LGBTQ+ film history and leading an audience discussion after each one.
The festival begins on Friday, October 7th with the showing of The Boys in the Band (1970). Noted as a milestone for its unbiased focus on the average lives of American gay men, The Boys in the Band features a group of friends enjoying a birthday party until the arrival of some unexpected visitors and a drinking game cause more harm than good. This film is rated R with a run time of 1 hour 59 minutes.
The film slated for Friday, October 14th is Fire (1996). An Indian-Canadian romantic drama that sparked a dialogue about homosexuality and freedom of speech throughout India, Fire was written and directed by Deepa Mehta. Heavily protested at its release in India in 1998, the movie tells the story of Sita and Radha who find safety from the cruelty of their husbands in each other’s arms. Fire is unrated with a run time of 1 hour 48 minutes.
The film on Friday, October 21st is the powerful documentary Paragraph 175 (2000). Alongside Jews, gypsies, and other “undesirable” community members, homosexuals were persecuted during the Holocaust. Paragraph 175 features testimony from several gay individuals, arrested for the crime of homosexuality by the Nazis during WWII in accordance with The German Criminal Code. From May 15, 1871 to March 10, 1994, Paragraph 175, also known as Section 175, stood to criminalize homosexual acts between men; the Nazi regime expanded that law, leading to the imprisonment and death of thousands. This film is unrated with a run time of 1 hour 21 minutes.
To conclude the festival, the HHRC will screen The Danish Girl (2015) on Friday, October 29th. This Academy Award-winning film is based on the true story of Einar Wegener, a young artist who begins the process of transitioning to Lili Elbe after realizing that she has always identified as a woman. Set in the 1930s, The Danish Girl tells the story of one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. This film is rated R and has a run time of 2 hours.
The HHRC’s Pride Film Festival is free to attend, open to the public and refreshments are provided.
All films will be shown at the Michael Klahr Center, located at 46 University Drive in Augusta. For more information visit www.hhrcmaine.org/pridefilms2016 or call (207) 621-3530.