Out Of The Past

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

It may be just a small drop in a big bucket, but when it comes to rewriting the history books to include the lives and achievements of gay men and women, Jeff Dupre's hourlong documentary is still a great start. The film tells the almost unbelievable story of Kelli Peterson, a 17-year-old Utah high-school student who, in 1996, found herself the center of...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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It may be just a small drop in a big bucket, but when it comes to rewriting the history books to include the lives and achievements of gay men and women, Jeff Dupre's hourlong documentary is still a great start. The film tells the almost unbelievable story of Kelli

Peterson, a 17-year-old Utah high-school student who, in 1996, found herself the center of a heated imbroglio when she tried to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance in her school. School-board protests landed the case in the lap of the Utah State Legislature, and Kelli was suddenly national

front-page news. It's a fascinating, infuriating and ultimately enlightening story, but Dupre takes it a step further by finding historical precedents for aspects of Kelli's life and brave struggle against fear and ignorance. As Kelli talks about her years as a miserable, closeted teenager, Dupre

intercuts the story of Michael Wigglesworth, the gay, 17th-century Puritan cleric and poet who lived a life of tormented repression. Kelli's relationship with her longtime girlfriend is echoed in the life of 19th-century New England novelist Sarah Orne Jewett, whose love for prominent society

matron Annie Fields, was well-documented in letters. When Kelli finds herself on the march, Dupre adds the lives of Henry Gerber, who founded America's first gay rights organization in 1924, and Martin Luther King's right-hand man Bayard Rustin, who also happened to be gay. It's a history few have

bothered to record, and Dupre -- aided by the voices of Gwyneth Paltrow, Edward Norton and Cherry Jones, among others -- brings it to life in an intelligently made and important little film.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: It may be just a small drop in a big bucket, but when it comes to rewriting the history books to include the lives and achievements of gay men and women, Jeff Dupre's hourlong documentary is still a great start. The film tells the almost unbelievable story… (more)

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