Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Watch: Coming Out Under Fire Documentary Trailer - Finally Released On-Demand

Originally released in 1994, author Allan Bérubé teamed up with filmmaker Arthur Dong to create a wonderful documentary about being gay in the military during World War II.  The pair sat down with many of the service men and women interviewed in Bérubé's book Coming Out Under Fire. In 1996, PBS aired the documentary and it went on to win a Peabody Award in addition to the numerous accolades it won at film festivals around the world.

Coming Out Under Fire features nine gay and lesbian veterans who recount how they joined the patriotic war against fascism in the 1940s only to find themselves fighting two battles: one for their country and another for their right to serve. They first remember warm and entertaining stories of finding each other in a compulsory heterosexual environment and reminisce over tales of first love and deep friendships. Their good times were short-lived, however, as they became targets of newly created anti-homosexual policies which called for witch hunts, dehumanizing interrogations, involuntary psychiatric treatments, and the incarceration of suspected homosexuals into "queer stockades." The final humiliation was a dishonorable discharge which stripped a soldier of all veterans benefits as well as being officially branded a "sex pervert" for life.

Twenty years later, the movie has finally been released to Vimeo On Demand. For a small fee, you can watch the movie in its entirety. What makes this even more touching is that we have lost almost all of our WWII vets to old age, even documentarian Allan Bérubé passed away in 2007. Watch the trailer below. And if you have $3 to spare, watch the full documentary. It's pretty great.

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