I spoke with Fergus O’Brien on June 23, 2017 as part of the second Frameline press day. His film, AGAINST THE LAW, was screening the following day at the fabulous Castro Theater, and I took the opportunity to ask him the question I was putting to all the filmmakers who sat in front of my microphone. What is the importance of the arts in the time of Trump.
Before he answered that question, he discussed his docu-drama, made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of laws against homosexuality being overturned. He also talked about the protagonist, Peter Wildeblood, a reluctant activist, whose betrayal by a lover, and the book he wrote, during his subsequent imprisonment, from which the film takes its name, spurred the movement that resulted in the movement for gay rights in Great Britain.
The case he makes for why it’s important to remember the dark times of persecution is both impassioned and compelling, drawing the connection between what happened to gay men then in Great Britain, and what is happening to them now in many other parts of the world.
NB: Uncensored language, used properly considering the context, as far as I’m concerned.