CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023

Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana

Year: 2018
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 105 minutes

Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana
Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana
Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana
Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana

Freedom of speech is one of America’s most cherished rights, protected by the First Amendment. But as some have learned, not all speech is covered by it. One such exception is obscenity, defined by Merriam-Webster as “any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time”—a glaringly subjective concept. Nevertheless, Florida illustrator Mike Diana learned this the hard way in 1994 when he became the first American artist to be convicted of obscenity. He was punished with fines, probation, community service, psychological testing, and an order to stay away from children. Mike’s big offense: publishing what was deemed an inappropriate comic book. Because the court found his twisted, ultra-violent, sex-filled Boiled Angels series “lacked serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value,” a harmless young cartoonist became a criminal. BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA cleverly chronicles the unbelievable story, while also recounting the misunderstood history of underground comics—from the moral panic of the 50s to the controversial work of Robert Crumb. Narrated by punk icon, Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), this boisterous documentary profiles an unlikely free speech hero. —E.F.

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Frank Henenlotter

Born in New York City, Frank Henenlotter began making 8mm films as a teenager, drawing inspiration from low-budget films he watched in various grindhouse theaters in Manhattan. A writer and director, Henenlotter’s films are best known for their offbeat plots, cheerfully lowbrow humor, excessive gore, and pervasively sordid atmosphere.

Basket Case (1982), Brain Damage (1988), Basket Case 2 (1990), Frankenhooker (1990), Basket Case 3 (1991), Bad Biology (2008), That's Sexploitation! (2013), Chasing Banksy (2015), BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA (2018)

Anthony Sneed, Mike Hunchback

Anthony Sneed

Frank Henenlotter

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