This list has more documentaries because they are more sharply focused of specific issues faced by same-sex couples.
We have listed the less expensive distributor where there are multiple sources. Availability and costs change often, so it’s best to contact distributors before ordering. Some of these are available in libraries. Ask for your city or school library to order a copy if they do not have them.
—— Marriage ——
Because This is About Love
Documentary on gay and lesbian marriages.
(1992), 28 min., rent/$55, sale/$295; Filmakers Library, 124 E. 40th St., New York, NY 10016, 212-808-4980; firstname.lastname@example.org
Freedom to Marry: A Green Mountain View
Interviews diverse Vermont gay and lesbian families about the importance of legal marriage in their lives.
Produced by Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force (1996), 17 minute VHS, sale $15.00 post paid; Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, Box 1312, Middlebury, VT 05753; 802-388-2633
For My Wife …
Documentary. After the tragic death of her partner, Kate Fleming, Charlene Strong encountered heartless discrimination from the hospital and funeral home staffs. This legally-sanctioned discrimination excluded her from making medical and funeral decisions, even though she and Kate had shared their lives for 10 years, and the fact that Charlene was paying for the funeral. Charlene soon campaigned for Washington State’s Domestic Partnership laws, as well as for full access to legal marriage, which would help prevent the assumption that committed partners were legal strangers.
Written and directed by David Rothmiller (2010), 60 min. plus extras: “Gloria Steinem on Legal Marriage,” “The Warren Report Podcast Interview,” and “Meet the Filmmakers.” Distributed by Cinema Libre Studio. Available at Amazon.
In Praise of Gay Marriage
Founder of the Holy Gay Catholic Church uses biblical quotes to support Christian gay marriage.
Produced by Thomas F. Krahn (1990), 4 audio cassettes, $7.95 ea.; Puget Sound Publishing Group, 3401 Rucker, East Suite, Everett, WA 98201, 206-339-8338.
The Right to Marry
Compelling reasons for the civil right of legal marriage for same-sex couples. Contains interviews with Rev. Mel White, (“Stranger at the Gate: To be gay and Christian in America”), Phyllis Burke (“Family Values: A lesbian mother’s fight for her son”), Richard Mohr (“A More Perfect Union”), Kevin Cathcart (director, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund), Faygele benMiriam (who, along with Paul Barwick, sued Washington state for legal marriage in 1971), Benjamin Cable-McCarthy (who, along with partner Marcial Cable-McCarthy, sued California in 1993), Susan Reardon (co-director, Hawai’i Equal Rights Marriage Project), and Evan Wolfson (co-counsel, Hawai’i marriage suit, and director, “The Marriage Project” at Lambda Legal). Was the world’s first documentary regarding legal marriage for same-sex couples. Original VHS version out-of-print. Now available as a DVD from Amazon.
Information, screen captures and 7-minute video excerpt: The Right to Marry
Purchase: The Right to Marry from Amazon
Directed by Demian (1993), 7 min. excerpt (differs from the version mentioned above) available on Demian’s Film & Video Projects - archive DVD - also available from Amazon
Produced by Sweet Corn Productions, Seattle, WA; 206-935-1206; email@example.com
Tying the Knot
An documentary exploration of the battle between those same-sex couples who want to legally marry, and those anti-marriage people determined to stop them. Several couples demonstrate how the heartache of the loss of a partner becomes a horror when the surviving partner is denied any kinship, thereby loosing things such as pensions and a home. The film looks at how the legal and societal structures of marriage have changed with time, especially concerning how changing laws for women’s property rights and interracial marriage have created a precedent for rethinking the legal contract of marriage. It includes commentary by director Jim de Sève and Evan Wolfson, director of Freedom to Marry. Also included: post-screening Q&A during 2004 Tribeca Film Fest, and panel discussion from 2004 NewFest; plus out-takes and updates of those in the movie.
Directed by Jim de Sève (2004), 83 min. DVD. Distributed by Docurama. Inquiries for public screenings: firstname.lastname@example.org
—— Parenting ——
Daddy & Pappa
The stories of four same-sex families with children are interwoven in this documentary raising issues of anti-gay, anti-father, and racial prejudice. A personal (one family is the filmmaker’s) look at parenting with many emotional highpoints.
Directed by Johnny Symons (2002), 1 hour. Educational sales: New Day Films, 1-888-367-9154
Home sales: Persistent Visions, 1-800-343-5540
• More info on pbs.org/independentlens/daddyandpapa
In the Best Interests of the Children
Interviews eight lesbian mothers, their children and their partners; explores child custody issues.
Directed by Frances Reid, Elizabeth Stevens, & Cathy Zheutlin (1977), 53 min., 16mm rent/$100, sale/$750, VHS rent/$75, sale to institutions/$250, sale for home use/$90, all orders +$15 p&h; Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, #500WI, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606; email@example.com
Not All Parents Are Straight
Interviews of children of gay parents. Two of the six families interviewed are co-parenting gay couples.
Directed by Kevin White (1986), 58 min., rental/$95, sale 16mm/$895 and all video formats/$595; The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 2nd fl., New York, NY 10016-7038; 212-685-6242; 800-723-5522; firstname.lastname@example.org
Our House: A very real documentary about kids of gay & lesbian parents
Children from five families, from a variety of socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds and live in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the U.S., face the usual ups and downs of family life while encountering varied reactions from extended family, classmates, teachers, neighbors and public officials.
Directed by Meema Spadola (2000), 57 mins., VHS video, sale/$250, rental/$95; The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 2nd fl., New York, NY 10016-7038; 212-685-6242; 800-723-5522; email@example.com
Sandy & Madeleine’s Family
Interviews lesbian couple granted custody of their children on condition they live separately.
Directed by Sherrie Farrell, John Hill & Peter Bruce (1974), 30 min., 16mm or VHS rent/$65, 16mm sale/$395, VHS sale/$340, all orders +$7 p&h; Multi-Focus, 1525 Franklin St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 800-821-0514 or 415-673-5100 in California.
That’s a Family!
Children talk about their lives and unique family experiences, explaining concepts like “birth mom,” “mixed race,” “gay and lesbian.”
Directed by Debra Chasnoff, (2000), 35 min., VHS sale to colleges/universities/$150; sale to community groups/schools/public libraries/$75 (plus $9 s&h); GroundSpark, 2180 Bryant St., #203 San Francisco, CA 94110; 415-641-4616; fax 415-641-4632; 1-800-405-3322.
We Are Family
Three households with adopted or foster children, each headed by a gay couple.
Directed by Aimee Sands (1987), 58 min., VHS rent/$75, sale/$445, all orders add $10 p&h; Filmakers Library, 124 E. 40th St., New York, NY 10016, 212-808-4980; firstname.lastname@example.org
—— Immigration ——
Excluded: Nowhere to go - Immigration struggles of a gay binational couple
Tony is American and Thomas is German. Because the U.S. does not recognize legal same-sex marriage, Thomas is legally forbidden to work in the U.S. — and prevented from even spending more time in the country than a visitor visa would allow — this couple chose the life of nomads rather than dissolve their family.
Directed by Lisa M. Nunn (2010), 46 min., free; Lisa M. Nunn, PhD, Dept of Sociology, University of San Diego, Serra Hall #20, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492; 619-260-7427.
“Excluded” is offered under Creative Commons license for distribution so long as it is free of charge and not edited in any way.
• Information and to request a free DVD: email@example.com
• Free viewing site, plus legal data, links, college course ideas; excludedthemovie.com
• Free viewing: imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK//video/wab/vi3963881241
• Follow Tony and Thomas on their rootless journeys around the world: contemporarynomad.com
—— Couples Issues ——
Bob’s New Suit
U.S. comedic melodrama which focuses on a family of parents and their adult children, all of whom are undergoing life-changing crisis. The daughter is in a lesbian relationship, and just beginning to pass as a male, before considering sex change proceedures.
Written and directed by Alan R. Howard (2011), produced by Rowan Pictures and distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures. Available on Amazon.
British sitcom about a chaotic day in the life of a lesbian mother and her lover.
Directed by Joy Chamberlain, and Gillian Slovo (1984), 52 min., 16mm rent/$125, sale/$700; VHS rent/$75, sale to institutions/$275, sale for home use/$90; all orders +$15 p&h; Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, #500WI, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fight Before Christmas
A warm-hearted musical comedy featuring a male couple; they are guarded over by three angels who sing the narration.
Directed by Demian (1993), 7:30 min. excerpt available on Demian’s Film & Video Projects - archive DVD which is available from Amazon
Produced by Sweet Corn Productions, Seattle, WA; 206-935-1206; email@example.com
Drawn from book of same title. Affirming relationships, communication for understanding and conflict-resolution, agreements and relationship stages.
Produced by authors D. Merilee Clunis & G. Dorsey Green (1989), audio cassette, 60 min., sale/$9.95 +$1.50 p&h; Seal Press, 3131 Western Ave., #410, Seattle, WA98121, 206-283-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifetime Commitment: A Portrait of Karen Thompson
Chronicle of Karen Thompson’s struggle to maintain contact with her lover, Sharon Kowalski, who had been declared legally incompetent.
Directed by Kiki Zeldes & Susan Bruce (1992), 33 min., VHS, sale/$39.98 +$3.50 p&h; Wolfe Video, Box 64, New Almaden, CA 95042; 800-438-9653, outside U.S./408-268-6782; email@example.com
Living with AIDS
Emmy award-winning. Documents friends and volunteers supporting Todd Coleman, who has AIDS. In the forefront is partner Bob Runyon. They met six months after Coleman’s diagnosis.
Directed by Tina DiFeliciantonio, 24 min.; VHS, 3/4" video or 16mm; rent/$65 for 3 days, $100 for 5 days; sale/$385; no postage if pre-paid, $5 postage w/purchase order; Carle Media, 110 West Main Street, Urbana, IL 61801, 217-384-4838.
Documents gay and lesbian elders; contains a male couple still in love after 55 years together and a lesbian who contacted the gay community only after the death of her partner of 58 years.
Directed by Lucy Winer (1985), 42 min., 16mm rent/$65, sale/$650; 3/4" video sale/$395; 30 min. version available on video; all orders +$10 p&h, call for ½" and home video rates; Filmakers Library, 124 E. 40th St., New York, NY 10016, 212-808-4980; firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Dedicated
Gay men and lesbians bereave loss of their lovers.
Directed by Alleycat Productions (1992), 24 min., rent/$55, sale/$295; Filmakers Library, 124 E. 40th St., New York, NY 10016, 212-808-4980; email@example.com
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