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National Film Registry Adds LGBTQ Film

By Charlotte Robinson, January 04, 2023

The Library of Congress’s National Film Registry has added the 1977 documentary “Word Is Out” among their latest honorees. Each year the Librarian of Congress names to the National Film Registry 25 motion pictures that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The film was made by the Mariposa Group a young LGBTQ filmmakers led by Peter Adair & included Rob Epstein, Veronica Selver, Lucy Massie Phenix, Andrew Brown & Nancy (Anaya) Adair who was my college roommate. In 2010 I talked to Anaya about the 30th anniversary of the film who stated, “We wondered if it would be seen as just an historic document or whether it would still continue to help people & be relevant today. I think that it does both in a way. It’s a little bit dated in that the music is from the 1970’s, you know people’s clothing is a little different & so on but it is still extremely relevant. It makes people feel really good about themselves. As much as it would seem easier to come out of the closet in areas like Boston, the Bay Area & LA & so on, in small towns like the one I live in, it’s still very difficult for young people. We’re still completely inundated by heterosexual images. It’s not easy for gay & lesbians in rural areas to come out & feel good about themselves. No one has made a film like this with its scope, with its diversities, so it’s still a very powerful statement & I think it will always be, because we made it for gays. But I don’t think in the end that it’s only for gay people. Heterosexuals really love the film because it’s about self actualization, self love & empowerment. So it’s relevant for all people.” LISTEN  

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