“The Fall of ’55” Screening part of Boise History Celebration

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Idaho’s capital city has been celebrating its sesquicentennial with numerous events and exhibits over the past few months. Tomorrow night, Boise 150 and Opera Idaho will join together to take a look at one of the darkest periods in Boise’s gay history.

The award-winning film documents the frenzy of the so-called “Boys Of Boise” scandal, which griped Boise, and the nation, until 1957.  During the scandal some 1,500 people were questioned, sixteen men faced charges, and fifteen men were sentenced to terms ranging from probation to life in prison.

According to the film’s producers,” Director Seth Randal’s gripping documentary provides unique insights into the pre-Stonewall gay experience as well as 1950s’ America’s struggle with the issue of homosexuality and the prevailing myth that it was a cancer that could be spread to the youth. Interesting parallels are also drawn with the era of McCarthyism, during which fear and paranoia supplanted rational thought, and the federal government began its own purge of gays (one that continued until recently in our military).”

The free screening is being held in conjunction with the Opera Idaho’s performances of Carlisle Floyd’s opera Susannah — a metaphor for McCarthyism, a period of intense fear of communism in America during the early 1950s.

A panel discussion will follow the screening. Panelists include longtime attorney and Boise High class of 1955 member, M. Neal Newhouse, Idaho Statesman political columnist Dan Popkey, longtime Boisean and former singer June Schmitz, the film’s historical adviser, Alan Virta, and the film’s director, Seth Randal.

The event will be held  from 7:00-9:30 pm, at the historic Egyptian Theater located at 700 West Main Street in downtown Boise.

Click HERE for more info about the event.

You can visit the film’s Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Now Playing: ‘Bully’ opens in Boise

Filmgoers and educators that signed up for tickets were treated to free screenings of Lee Hirsch’s controversial film ‘Bully’ over the weekend.

The film, which follows five teens over the course of a school year, has created controversy for its hard-hitting look at school bullying and its effects on the students, their families and their communities.

‘Bully’ was released nationwide on Friday.  It made its Idaho premiere at the Flicks Theater in Boise with two free screenings sponsored by the Boise Exchange Club and the Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Following the screening on Saturday, Boise counselor Kelli Sullivan led a discussion about the effects of bullying on teens in Idaho.

Sunday’s showing was targeted at area teachers.

The film’s message is an important one for Idaho.

According to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho, Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Idahoans age 15-34 and for males age 10-14. Idaho also has the fourth highest suicide rate in the nation.

Studies have shown that those who have been bullied and or harassed at school can be affected by the actions well into their adult years.

According to the 2012 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey, out of 1,702  students in 48 public high schools, 22.8 percent report being bullied or harassed on school property within the last year.

A legislative measure that would have required school districts to develop action plans to deal with the problem failed to advance in the last session after the bill was held up by the chairman of the House Education Committee.

Republican Rep. Bob Nonini refused to give the bill a hearing because he didn’t feel the additional law was necessary.

You can catch the documentary, which was given a PG-13 rating earlier this month, at the Flicks located at 646 Fulton Street in Boise.

Click HERE for show times and other information.

 

 

HIV is NOT a crime: AIDS Activist Sean Strub bringing his Message of Injustice to Boise

When a person gets arrested for not disclosing his or her HIV status, it’s big news. Local media outlets love to present sensationalized, one-sided pieces meant to send fear and panic throughout a community.  By doing so they play right into many of the stereotypes and stigma that has surrounded the virus for decades.

It’s a subject that activist Sean Strub takes personally. Strub was diagnosed with HIV over thirty years ago and since than has been working to change hearts, minds and laws when it comes to HIV and AIDS in America.

From producing a hit Broadway play, to running for office to founding several magazines including POZ, no medium seems to big of a canvas for the activist to use in order to get his message out.

Strub will be bringing his latest project, a documentary short titled HIV is not a crime to Idaho.

According to Creative Visions Foundation, “Most HIV criminalization prosecutions are for not disclosing one’s HIV+ status, or for not being able to prove disclosure, prior to engaging in an intimate sexual act.  Actual HIV transmission is rarely a factor in these prosecutions and even the degree of potential risk is not typically relevant.”

The film tells the stories of three individuals who have found themselves caught in the criminalization trap.

People like Nick Rhoads of Iowa.

According to criminalHIVtransmission.blogspot.com, a blog that tracks such stories,”Rhodes was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to 25 years in prison because he didn’t disclose he was HIV-positive during a one-night stand with another man, despite using condoms and having an undetectable viral load.  Following intervention from human rights groups and HIV advocates, Nick’s 25 year sentence was eventually suspended, but he remains on parole and on the sex offenders list.”

During his presentation the film, Strub hopes to raise such questions as,”How does the criminalization of HIV affect its prevention? Are the laws preventing or facilitating the spread of HIV?”

According to a press release, the event will be held Thursday, May 3rd from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at The Law Center, located at 525 W Jefferson in Boise.

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to jamie.Strain@fmridaho.org or call 208-514-2505 Ext. 6079.

MPAA lowers ‘Bully’ Rating to PG-13

A movie, made to teach teens that violence and harassment on the playground is not okay, will soon be able to be seen by its target audience.

The Weinstein Co. announced on Thursday that, after weeks of haggling with the Motion Picture Association of America over Bully’s R rating, it would re-edit the film in order to receive  a PG-13.

Entertainment Weekly reports,”The edits consisted of removing three of the movie’s six F-words.”

“These edits do not involve a key scene in which teenager Alex Libby was verbally harassed on a school bus..” the magazine reports.

According to a press release from the production company,”The new rating, which came about with the great support from MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd, grants the schools, organizations and cities all around the country who are lined up and ready to screen BULLY, including the National Education Association and the Cincinnati School District, the opportunity to share this educational tool with their children.”

One USA Today reviewer  recently called the documentary film, which follows five teens over the course of a school year,”required viewing for everyone ages 8 to 18.”

Bully offers “a disturbing look at the lack of accountability that surrounds the bullying environment,” wrote the paper’s Claudia Puig.

The movie’s director, Lee Hirsch, tells the Seattle Times that he makes no apologies for the film’s heart wrenching honesty.

“It’s very different from the days when “The Andy Griffith Show” was dealing with it, and yet bullying is still the same. What’s changing are attitudes about it. In the past, my father was saying, “That’s life, kid. Suck it up. Stand up for yourself.” The sense was that this was a rite of passage. People are challenging that,” Hirsch told the newspaper.

According to the film’s website, Bully is scheduled to open nationwide on April 13th.

Watch: A Coming Out Story

Just watch…

 

Thanks for sharing Dane B. McFadhen!

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