Born This Way

Co-Director Deb Tullmann in attendance

Sat, May 18, 2013, 2:30pm
McMenamins Kennedy School Theater

The groundbreaking documentary Born This Way explores the underground gay and lesbian community in an intensely homophobic culture that’s taking its first steps toward greater acceptance. (Under the draconian Article 347A of the Cameroonian Criminal Code, homosexuality is punishable by a fine of 200,000 francs and up to five years in prison.) The film focuses on two people who dream of sharing the truth about who they really are with their families: Cedric wants to come out to his mom, and Gertrude wants to come out to the mother superior who raised her in a Catholic convent.

Cedric and Gertrude work at a nonprofit that officially operates as an HIV/AIDS clinic, but also functions as a safe space where LGBT people can come together without fear of going to jail, being attacked or being rejected by family and friends. While working to help defend two young women on trial for charges of homosexuality, their activism becomes bolder and stronger.

Born This Way is an inspiring glimpse into a young, courageous community that’s struggling to find its voice in a deeply traditional culture. It’s not only an eye-opening work of art but also akey component of a global campaign to raise awareness about an unjust law. —Jimmy Radosta

In French and English with English subtitles

Born This Way: Dirs Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann 2013 United States/Cameroon 85 min.

Community Partners: Equity Foundation; Human Rights Campaign Oregon/SW Washington Steering Committee; Cascade Festival of African Films; OGALLA: The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon