Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

OUT OF THE PAST

 

Year: 1997
Country: USA
Run Time: 65 minutes

High schooler Kelli Peterson wasn't out to make history that fall. But she did, an OUT OF THE PAST also "makes history," as a backdrop to a controversy briefly in the media spotlight in 1995. If you missed the details of the case (eclipsed by O.J. verdict hysteria), then Jeff Dupre's exceptional documentary is indeed welcome. Peterson, an uncloseted lesbian at 17 who had once considered suicide, sought to convene a "Gay-Straight Alliance" club after class. But this was conservative Salt Lake City, and Kelli's formal application to start the club drew fire from homophobes. The school board, after much deliberation, rendered a judgment that can only be described as anti-Solomonlike in its wisdom. Cutting from the Utah situation to other examples of gay resistance not found in most textbooks - like the secret diary confessions of a famous Puritan poet, and the gay man who helped Martin Luther King orchestrate the march on Washington - OUT OF THE PAST constructs a three-century timeline of struggles for recognition and respect.

Screenplay
Michelle Ferrari

Producer
Jeff Dupre

Cinematography
Buddy Squires

Editing
Toby Shimin, George O'Donnell

Principal Cast
Kelli Peterson, George Chauncey, Lillian Faderman, Rev. Peter Gomes

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