Green on Thursdays

A strong documentary (1993) by Dean Bushala and Deirdre Heaslip about gay bashing in Chicago, alternately terrifying and empowering in its matter-of-fact instructiveness about the extent of the problem and the response of local activists—including the Pink Angels street patrol, the Coalition Against Bashing, and Horizons' antiviolence counseling and court advocacy program. Following many examples of violence against gay men and lesbians, the film makes effective use of several local talents: two effective videos by Charles Christensen, a song by the duo Ellen Rosner and Camille, and black-and-white photographs by Allen Nepomuceno, Paul Vosdic, and Paul Roesch. The title refers to the 19th-century practice of gay men wearing green ties on Thursdays to identify themselves to one another; it also raises the more current issue of how much being “out” means being a target for a sociopath. The film deals only glancingly with the reasons for homophobic violence, but has a lot to say about the possible responses to it.

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