4 August 2017

selenak: (Brian 1963 by Naraht)
This tv movie was shown on BBC2 as part of the BBC's "Queer Britannia" season, to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offenses Act (which ended sex between two consenting male adults being regarded as a crime). Directed by Fergus O'Brien, it's a docudrama, with the fictionalized scenes based on the book of the same title by Peter Wildeblood, the only openly gay man to testify before the Wolfenden Comittee in 1955. (The Wolfenden Report was key to the eventual Sexual Offenses Act.) In between Wildeblood's story - he's played by Daniel Mays, whom I've previously seen mostly in villain roles (for example in "Ashes to Ashes", and who is great in this utterly different role), we get interviews with men in their late 60s up men in their 90s who describe what it had been like for them to grow up and live with both the law, society and your own social conditioning being against you. Both drama and interviews are incredibly moving, and compliment each other, especially since the film refuses to give Wildeblood an ahistorical "victory" moment where, say, he's reunited with his boyfriend, or one of his tormentors apologizes. Instead, the victory is in the lives of these men who've all been through hell but lived to see another age, still not ideal, but one where they can be with the partners of their choices.

Spoilers feel like a Mary Renault character ended up in a Ken Burns docu )

In conclusion: excellent film, watch it if you can.

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