"In this 1995 documentary, director Shari Frilot highlighted the need to bust open static concepts of race, sexuality, and even nation-states." - Roya Rastegar, Colorlines
In 1995, a groundbreaking conference on LGBTQ sexualities in the African diaspora brought together an array of scholars, activists, and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid, and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political, and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender peoples.
Shari Frilot’s experimental film Black Nations/Queer Nations? brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and contemporary black queer media production. The participants discuss various topics: Black and queer identity, the shortcomings of Black nationalism, and homophobia in Black communities. Drawing upon works such as Isaac Julien's "The Attendant" and Jocelyn Taylor's "Bodily Functions," this documentary illuminates the importance of this historic conference for Black Queer communities.
"Capturing the event with propulsive energy, this extraordinary cultural document offers a unique chance to witness brilliant minds expounding on matters of race, sexuality, and their intersection."- Black 90s Film Series, Brooklyn Academy of Music
For LGBTQ Pride Month, Third World Newsreel and filmmaker Shari Frilot are pleased to stream the film Black Nations/Queer Nations? for free on Vimeo from June 15-30, 2020.