Saturday, July 17, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
A FRIEND INDEED!
Every once in a while, good things happen that make you appreciate the fact that not every heterosexual positions gay marriage the way George Bush and his right wing conservative cronies do. Here is a perfect example.
Take one tall, blond, good looking, seventeen year old linebacker on a high school football team, give him a video camera and tell him to tape a documentary. What would you expect to get in return? A film about sports? Hot cars? Hot babes? None of the above, my friend. How about a film concerning the fight to make gay marriage legal in the United States?
Oh, he must be gay, right? Wrong. Zach Landman is a slice cut from the pie of middle class America. He’s a rich white kid from suburbia who probably never talked with a gay person in his life, unless he was hassling them. To look at him, you’d think he and his buddies would give gays at his school a fairly rough time. Such is not the case at all.
Landman chose a courageous topic to film and was supported by his class advisors. Naturally, he felt a bit self-conscious when he took his camera to San Francisco in February to film interviews with the hundreds of gays and lesbians waiting in line around the courthouse to be issued marriage licenses. “I was nervous, but everyone was open and warm,” he said.
For four hours, Landman spoke with gay and lesbian couples about marriage and their concerns and happiness. He came back a second day and a third. What he was looking for was, “a portrait of the people behind the same-sex marriage movement – the faces, the mood, the spirit.” What he got were images and comments from a cross section of couples that loved each other with the same intensity and commitment as married members of his own family. “I find the contention that same-sex marriage can somehow harm straight people like myself to be illogical.”
When he came home from his filming, Landman stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning, editing his film on his computer. He mixed scenes of gays and lesbians celebrating their marriages with clips of President Bush, and with slides of quotes from others both for and against gay marriage.
“I contacted more than 20 organizations who are against gay marriage but none of them got back to me. The non-response from those organizations sent a powerful message to me.”
Landman’s advisors encouraged him to enter his film in the C-SPAN sponsored California Student Media and Multimedia Competition. His film, aptly called A Nation Divided, placed second out of over 700 enteries. He won a $1,500 prize.
The Orinda Film Festival will be showing the film in October. Randy Holleschau, executive director of the festival, was emphatic. “When I saw the emotions it brought out in me, I realized other people have to watch this.”
I have stated over and over again that heterosexuals need to see the human face of gays and lesbians in our day to day life. They need to see that we’re people, not sex-starved animals trying to recruit their kids into our lifestyle. Zach Landman’s film goes a long way toward doing just that.
Thank you, Zach, for your support and hard work.
To view A Nation Divided, click here.
©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
That man deserves his 'I'm an honorary gay man' badge!
Unlike some others, I'll ask first.
I'd really like to link to your post and the film. Here in the UK I don't thinks its much different. It would be good for people over this side of the water to see it too.
So. Do you mind?
Artistic: Yes'm, for surely sure. It will be interesting to see how we handle this new-found acceptance. :)
Makes my blood boil.
I think people who are bigoted and threatend by the sexuality of others are saying more about themselves than anyone else.