Wednesday, July 25, 2012

VITO - A Documentary on HBO

Just a quickie post here tonight.

I was able to watch this documentary "VITO" on the life and work of Vito Russo on HBO this evening.

The film centers around three themes that dominated Vito's life: the first part concerns Vito's work documenting the depiction of gays and Lesbians in film from the beginning of the movie era and the publishing of his groundbreaking book The Celluloid Closet; it then moves into his involvement in the Gay Liberation activities of the 1970's; finally it covers his continuing activism with Act Up and fighting for an appropriate response to the AIDS crisis from the government and health care/pharmaceutical  industry.

The documentary is one and a half hours and is a bit slow in parts.  But it is an important historical document that should be required viewing for our young gay people.

Leon and I even said "How quickly we forget." - and we lived through much of and participated in some of the protesting and demonstrating for LGBT rights and AIDS awareness.  Anyone much younger than 50 may have only heard what a huge role gay liberation and AIDS activism has played in getting us to where we are today - a world of assimilation and complacency and near apathy.

This film, along with several others (e.g. Before Stonewall, Life and Times of Harvey Milk) should be required viewing for anyone who applies for a membership card in the LGBT community.



  1. EVERYTHING I have, I owe to my Gay Brothers and Sisters who came before me. They fought so that I can be accepted and seen as equal. We still have an uphill battle but my life is such an breeze because of them/you.
    Your Friend, m.

  2. Greg and I watched this the other night and really appreciated it. I missed out on the sexual freedom of the 70s and early 80s (too young), but wish I could have witnessed it. Will the camaraderie of the 70s ever return? No, I think the iPhone and its apps killed that possibility. Those days are, if I might say, gone with the wind.

  3. I agree very much with your last paragraph, Frank.

    Is this a brand-new documentary on HBO? Because seems like 2 or 3 years ago on Netflix I did watch a full documentary on the Celluloid Closet, with Vito narrating. Maybe this one is about his life rather than about his book?

  4. Vito, the documentary airing currently on HBO was originally made in 2011, according to

    And some of the people who appear in it have since passed on.



Related Posts with Thumbnails