Brother to Brother (2004)

BRUCE as portrayed by Roger Robinson and PERRY as portrayed by Anthony Mackie in Brother to Brother (2004).


This is a very indie film that I caught randomly on cable at some point during college. It is not as discussed as it should be. I remember my first viewing having a strong impact on me, and that I also could not fully take it all in. But this was before DVR and #Netflix, et. al, so I took what I could get. Recently, I rewatched. There is a LOT going on here, and director Rodney Evans deftly intertwines imagined stories from real characters of the #HarlemRenaissance with a fictitious contemporary story about a young Black gay man's coming of age. What I enjoyed most about Brother to Brother is that it showed that Black gay men are not a new or novel idea. The historically inspired moments explore the experiences of some of the era's most prominent and queer figures (Zora! Langston!) in a way I haven't really seen anywhere else, and certainly not before. And then, in the present day, we get

to see a Black gay elder, a fictitiously rendered version of the very real Bruce Nugent. So often I've thought about what the lack of on screen images means for young Black gay men and Black gay boys, trying to make sense of themselves. But what does it mean for the black gay elders? When do they get their stories told? .

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