Outwatch Film Festival 2020

Tongues Untied

Available in 26d 18h 01m 01s
Available October 16, 2020 7:01 AM UTC
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Tongues Untied

1989 / USA / 55min

DIRECTOR: MARLON RIGGS


This 1989 experimental documentary film celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act.  Tongues Untied is a rich account of the Black gay male experience, from protest marches and smoky bars to the language of the "snap diva" and "vogue" dancer. By Black Director Marlon Riggs, one of the top gay filmmakers of the time, it features celebrated Black Gay male poet Essex Hemphill, as well as Riggs, actor Brian Freeman, and others. Tongues Untied combines political statement, spoken word and dance to create a film that won awards at Berlin, San Francisco and Los Angeles. But when it was broadcast in 1989 on PBS, it raised a storm of controversy, with letter-writing campaigns, picket lines, and even bomb threats against stations planning to carry it. The film seeks, in its author's words to, "...shatter the nation's brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference." 


“This is a beautiful, fantastic film. 30+ years later it still resonates. We are proud to bring this remastered film to a new audience, because Queer Black Men’s Lives Matter.”   OUTwatch Producers


Berlin International Film Festival winner Best Documentary Film

  • Year
    1989
  • Runtime
    55 min
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Berlin International Film Festival
  • Rating
    NR
  • Director
    Marlon Riggs
  • Screenwriter
    Marlon Riggs, Joseph Beam, Essex Hemphill, Alan Miller
  • Producer
    Marlon Riggs
  • Executive Producer
    Brian Freeman
  • Filmmaker
    Marlon Riggs
  • Cast
    Michael Bell; Blackberry; Gerald Davis; Gene Garth; Wayson Jones; Richard Medford; Ron Simmons
  • Cinematographer
    Vivian Kleiman
  • Editor
    Marlon Riggs
  • Composer
    Steve Langley
  • Sound Design
    Marlon Riggs
  • Music
    Alex Langford