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Gay History Idea For 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival

November 13, 2015

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Hat Tip to Tom
One of the most loved events each year is the Wisconsin Film Festival.  There are always plenty of films to provoke us to think anew, ponder ideas we may not have before been forced to contemplate, and of course have another reason to sit back and enjoy the big screen.
I recently became aware of a film, Upstairs Inferno, that many feel would be a great addition to the next film festival.  I want to join others in lobbying for its inclusion for the 2016  event.  The feature-length documentary film examines the UpStairs Lounge disaster and the impact it had on the New Orleans gay community.  
The largest gay mass murder in our nation of more than 30 people inside a New Orleans gay bar is needless to say most unsettling.  It might best be described as jarring.  The film profiles the events of  June 24, 1973  when an arsonist set fire (with a fire bomb) to the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans.   Equally appalling is the fact the primary suspect was never charged.
Why this matters goes to the heart of the reason these are the events we must not forget in this time of great success with our movement for equal rights and civil liberties. 
We all ride on the shoulders of those who proceed us.    The many faces and powerful forces of hope and change-agents over the decades of the gay-rights movement deserve our recognition.    But so do those who lost their lives for only doing what the Declaration of Independence laid out for us all.  Wanting nothing more than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This would be a great film to place on the agenda of the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival.   I ask my readers to send an email suggesting the title to the Festival Coordinator, Ben Reiser.   He can be contacted at 608-262-6578 | breiser@wisc.edu.
This is a powerful fact-filled film that deserves all our attention.
One Comment leave one →
  1. December 2, 2015 10:19 AM

    Hi Gregory, This is Robert Camina, director of UPSTAIRS INFERNO. I want to thank you for this incredible post and campaign for the inclusion of the documentary in the Wisconsin Film Festival. I really appreciate your initiative. I wish I had more proactive supporters like you! I followed up on the Wisconsin Film Festival, and learned that they ONLY screen films with a Wisconsin connection. Unfortunately, Upstairs Inferno does not have a connection. ;( If an opportunity to screen in Wisconsin comes up, we will certainly post it on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/upstairsinferno and our website: http://www.upstairsinferno.com! Thank you for you passion and support. – Robert

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