Chicago's Lesbian and Gay International
Film Festival is the second oldest gay film festival in the U.S.
It's better known as the Reeling film festival. On Veterans
Day, festival-goers will be seeing a mini gay-themed military
Included films are Seeds of Summer,
Dog Tags and Ask Not.
In writer/director Damion Dietz's Dog
Tags, straight-arrow Marine Nate and free-spirited Andy begin a
friendship in Palm Springs. The unlikely pair bond over fatherhood
issues – Andy is a father and Nate was abandoned by his. As their
friendship deepens, they unexpectedly begin a physical relationship.
Marketing for the movie says the film
is an exploration of the “broken lives of two seemingly very
different people, challenging in the most provocative and daring way
any notion of conventional 'gay' relationships.”
Seeds of Summer documents the
lives of fresh recruits in the Israeli army through the eyes of openly
lesbian director Hen Lasker. During the course of 66 days and
nights, Lasker captures intimately the challenges faced by female
trainees in the army.
included in our mini gay-themed military festival homage to Veterans
Day is an intriguing new documentary on the military's ban on
gays serving openly. The policy, titled Don't Ask, Don't Tell,
was conceived as a compromise by the Clinton administration in 1993.
Since then, 12,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender soldiers
have been discharged under the policy. The issue is currently a hot
topic as a recent federal court ruled the Armed Forces could only
discharge soldiers determined to be detrimental to the group's
mission. That is, a blanket statement that being gay is inconsistent
with military cohesion and therefore a gay soldier must be
detrimental to the group's mission and troop morale is unacceptable.
This decision could mark the beginning of the end of Don't Ask,
The film, Ask Not by director
Johnny Symons, focuses its lens on the true national and human costs
of the military's ban on gays & lesbians.
delivers compelling reasons on the failure of the policy – a group
of young gays attempt to enlist openly, interviews with veterans
expose hidden flaws, and a video diary from a closeted soldier as he
heads off to Iraq vividly unmasks the pain of the policy – making
it a must-see film.
Report is a feature of On Top Magazine and can be reached at
On the Net: The
Reeling film festival website is at www.reelingfilmfestival.org