Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

Freedom of the Press. Or Not.

April 04, 2019   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers

mikehunchback.jpg

Mike Diana’s twisted art might not be for the masses, but the lessons of his relentless fight to ensure he wasn’t silenced are relevant to us all–or at least anyone who values freedom of speech.

“Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana” recounts the story of an illustrator who was the first artist convicted of obscenity. His crime? Publishing what was considered an inappropriate comic book. The court found that Diana’s ultra-violent “Boiled Angels” series “lacked serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” It’s a timeless story, according to the film’s producer, Mike Hunchback, with continued relevance.

“One of the realities of human society is that there will always be these forces that arise wherein people band together out of being overwhelmed with seeing their preferred brand of morality collapsing,” Hunchback says. “They can't change the world, so they pick easy targets and rally to extinguish these minor, often irrelevant, fires. Awareness of this faulty human tendency is extremely important–[it’s] the mistakes we make when we forget that are the real obscenity.”

The film is narrated by Jello Biafra, the iconic front man of punk pioneers The Dead Kennedys, and a frequent target of the so-called moral majority. The first time Hunchback says he heard of Mike Diana was on one of Biafra’s spoken word albums–not long after Diana’s case started to leak into the mainstream.

“Boiled Angels,” though, isn’t just the story of Mike Diana. It’s explores the history of underground comics–and the people who cherish them, Hunchback says. In Hunchback’s view, Diana’s art is as comparable to Pasolini and Goya as it is to R. Crumb and GG Allin, two other iconic artists who tapped into the underground with their unique brands of gore and grit.

Hunchback’s hope? That this documentary inches us ever closer to a culture where such comparisons aren't shocking.

“As someone who finds a very serious value in Mike's art, I hope that people can see that this vision of a unified, hateful underground is false,” Hunchback says. “People that read Mike's comix, or listen to death metal, or watch nasty, disturbing horror films aren't bad people.”

– Timothy Magaw

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.3 MB]

Related Screenings:
04/04/19 @ 8:50 PM – Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana
04/05/19 @ 4:50 PM – Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana
04/06/19 @ 2:30 PM – Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana

Permalink  [Permalink]

CIFF Facebook Posts

We are thrilled to share the news that our very own Patrick Shepherd has been selected into the The Cleveland Leadership Center Leadership Cleveland class of 2020! Read up on the program and the full list of individuals who have been accepted into the latest class. Congrats to all! https://www.cleveleads.org/leadership-cleveland-class-of-2020-named/

a day ago   .   Link

CIFF Tweets

We are thrilled to share the news that our very own @PatrickShepherd has been selected into the @cleveleads class of 2020! Read up on the program and the full list of individuals who have been accepted into the latest class. Congrats to all! https://t.co/DtO75uCGCQ https://t.co/35FngvvNyB

a day ago   .   Reply   .   Retweet   .   Favorite

CIFF on Instagram

Follow us @clefilmfest

We are thrilled to share the news that our very own @patrickshepherd has been selected into the @cleveleads Leadership Cleveland class of 2020! Read up on the program and the full list of individuals who have been accepted into the latest class at cleveleads.org. Congrats to all!

Posted by clefilmfest at 7:00 PM

Questions? >

Questions?

Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about entering the film festival.

Become A CIFF Member >

Become A CIFF Member

We have seven different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!

Sign up for our email newsletter

go
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare