The Most Unknowable Thing | Chicago Reader

The Most Unknowable Thing

Lesbian documentarian Mary Patierno began videotaping her brother David in 1989, intending to chronicle his life as a gay man living with AIDS. But in 1991, while acknowledging that he was still more attracted to men, David married his female chiropractor (who previously had been married to a man and to a woman) and became stepfather to her two children. By beginning with the marriage and only later going back to 1989, Patierno's video validates the union as an authentic aspect of her brother's life, calling into question rigid concepts of sexual identity. Unfortunately David's health wasn't as malleable as his sexual options, and after an even more shocking turn of events the video ends with a moving funeral scene—but not before Patierno captures a bit of David's love of life.

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