Tongues Tied: A Must See For Gay Black Men (In my opinion)
Tongues Untied is a 1989 semi-documentary film directed by Marlon Riggs. The film seeks, in its author’s words to, “…shatter the nation’s brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference.”
The film blends documentary footage with personal account and fiction in an attempt to depict the specificity of black gay identity. The “silence” referred to throughout the film is that of black gay men, who are unable to express themselves because of the prejudices of white and black heterosexual society, as well as the white gay movement.
The narrative structure of Tongues Untied is both interesting and unconventional. Besides including documentary footage detailing North American black gay culture, Riggs also tells of his own experiences as a gay man. These include the realising of his sexual identity and of coping with the deaths of many of his friends to AIDS. Other elements within the film include footage of the civil rights movement and clips of Eddie Murphy performing a homophobic stand-up routine.