Friday, November 14, 2008

dear people planning to boycott SFF 2009,

Sundance is not the enemy of gay people (watch the documentary Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema for evidence). and well obviously Prop 8 didn't pass because of Sundance.

yes, Sundance is in Utah. and yes, the LDS (Mormon) Church, which is centrally located in Utah, does seem to have been quite persuasive in the California vote for Proposition 8. but just as sweeping and derogatory claims about gay people (and their fitness for marriage) are wrong-headed, so too is it rather clunky to plot a boycott of the Sundance Film Festival by virtue of its location in Utah. not everyone in Utah is a member of the Mormon Church (i dare say that many SFF staff and volunteers are not). and well but so as with any religion, there exists a complicated spectrum from absolutism to ambivalence regarding the degrees to which members believe in and adhere to Church dogma. and then beyond the relative "size" of the Church in terms of this complex spectrum of belief and buy-in, pointing at an entire region as a way of categorizing a people is just silly (although i admit that prior to my move here i envisioned bonnets and dour faces and was instead pleasantly surprised to see difference and diversity). so look, Utah's a big state. lots going on. lots, and much of it far beyond the devious orchestration of an LDSified campaign for Proposition 8.

i must also tell you, dear would-be boycotters-who-likely-believe-that-you-are-united-in-a- holy-type-struggle, it is similarly unreasonable to boycott the festival because some SFF films are shown in Cinemark Theaters (only 4 Park City venues out of the 14 total SFF venues, which are located in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon, and Ogden). True, Cinemark's Chief Executive may indeed have contributed a large sum to the campaign to pass Prop 8, but he did so as a private citizen and not as a representative of Cinemark. but so i'm pretty sure that your plans to boycott Sundance because of location and the donations of one individual are not well reasoned.

think it through. in fact, if you study the films that Sundance routinely supports, you will find that Sundance (the Institute, the Festival) is and has always been remarkably, paradigm-shatteringly supportive of independent queer cinema. i'm just saying.


libhom said...

Sundance's decision to keep the festival in Utah was viciously racist, sexist, and homophobic. They could just move the festival out of the state if they weren't such bigots.

JK said...

I agree with you, Bonnie. This boycott (of Sundance as well as the state of Utah) is ill-conceived and silly. To those not familiar with Utah, we have many gay people and gay-friendly people here, too. In fact, 3,000+ at 2 rallies in the last 2 weeks. You boycott tourism and you hurt the gay and gay-friendly people who run many restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, ski resorts, not to mention those in the film industry. This is our gay-friendly subculture, so people outside of Utah should use their brains before imposing their narrow-minded pronouncements on all of us. Or at least be consistent and boycott California, Arizona, and Florida (except that would be unfair to gay and gay-friendly people in those states as well).

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

JK, right. i'm glad you validate my comments because who wants to be the crab who's *not* protesting injustice? not me. but then, when the protest itself is disambiguating and ill-conceived and poised to make me out as irrational, then i can't participate.

but, to be clear, i was & am against Proposition 8.

stand up straight & let me get a look at you

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