With Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs has made a personal documentary essay about the black gay scene in New York in the 1980s. Riggs uses poetry, personal testimonies, rap and performance to give black gay men a voice. Accompanied by the rhythmic poetry of Essex Hemphill, this 1989 movie paints a breathtaking and moving portrait of men who find themselves encountering a toxic combination of homophobia and racism. Tongues Untied is a unique document of a community about which little material has survived and shows the effort to survive in the era of AIDS, voguing, smoky bars and protest marches.
- Marlon Riggs