The 23rd annual Fresno Reel Pride Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – Night two

Wow, tonight was the night of great movies!

Three films – all four star material – (a fourth film ran simultaneously at another venue, so I was unable to see it)

The best one was the first one, a drama from Iran, about a Transgender ftm, Facing Mirrors. Every character is played so perfectly well, you can’t believe you’re watching a film from one of the world’s most conservative societies. Powerful, moving, expertly crafted filmmaking. Very well acted, spectacular settings – screaming good.

The next best was the next screening, a documentary, Call Me Kuchu, which journeyed deep into the work of both the anti-gay political movement of Uganda as well as the small dedicated band of young pro-gay Ugandan activists, rebels with a cause of human rights, and was there to capture the legendary Ugandan activist, Daniel Kato, before his murder after Rolling Stone (a notorious colorful and tawdry entertainment and investigative reporting tabloid, a cheap knock-off of a tabloid of the same name from the US) published his whereabouts. Amazing. There was no narration, only editing that presents the events and frames the context of them with such incredibly expert craft. The screening went off without a hitch tonight considering it had to be live streamed via broadband internet feed, as the wrong film was sent to the festival and the correct film was stuck in San Francisco, a cargo item waiting to get on a flight to Fresno. The stream was very clean, just a little jerkiness as the frames played back with slightly uneven pace, and you could only tell it was happening whenever the camera panned.

Last up was Nordzee, Texas, a moody if quietly tense drama from Belgium about a young gay boy living in a small, forlorned (no idea how to spell that but I am sure it’s a sanctioned word) and decidedly inbred North Sea town. The film featured rich attention to texture and detail, lending to its alluring intensity.

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