Marlon Riggs

Tongues Untied

Tongues Untied

Made, in Marlon Riggs’s own words, to “shatter the nation’s brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference,” this radical blend of documentary and performance defies the stigmas surrounding Black gay sexuality in the belief that, as long as shame prevails, liberation will never be possible. Through music and dance, words and poetry by such pathbreaking writers as Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam—and by turns candid, humorous, and heartbreaking interviews with queer African American men—Tongues Untied gives voice to what it means to live as an outsider in both a Black community rife with homophobia and a largely white gay subculture poisoned by racism. A lightning rod in the conservative culture wars of the 1980s that incited a right-wing furor over public funding for the arts, the film has lost none of its resonance in its unapologetic, life-affirming declaration that “Black men loving Black men is the revolutionary act.”

Film Info

  • Marlon Riggs
  • United States
  • 1989
  • 55 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • English

Available In

Collector's Set

The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs

The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs

Blu-Ray Box Set

2 Discs

$39.96

Collector's Set

The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs

The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$31.96

Tongues Untied
Cast
Essex Hemphill
Poetry performance
Michael Bell
Featuring
Bernard Branner
Ben Callet
Gerald Davis
Kenneth R. Dixon
Darnell Stephens-Durio
Larry Duckette
Gideon Ferebee
AJ Honey
Paul Horrey
David Hunter
Wayson Jones
David Kirkland
Richard Medford
Cornelius Moore
Bryant Navy
Willie “Ninja”
Michael Oatis
Christopher Prince
Timothy Riena
Britt Tennell
Taalib-Din Shakir
Robert D. Taylor
The Lavender Lovelights
“Come Out Tonight” performed by
Blackberri
Kerrigan Black
Gene Garth
Arvid Williams
Steve Langley
“Do What You Wanna Do” performed by
Credits
Director
Marlon Riggs
Produced by
Marlon Riggs
Photographer
Marlon Riggs
Editor
Marlon Riggs
Field producers
Colin Robinson
Ron Simmons
Snap! graphics
Rupert Kinnard
Still photography
Ron Simmons
Associate producer
Brian Freeman
Musicians
Idris Ackamoor
Josh Piagentini
Production assistant
Donald Woods
Additional camera
Rick Cooper
Nestor Davidson
Vivian Kleiman
Alex Langford
Calvin Roberts
Scott Sinkler
Assistant editors
Christiane Badgley
Bob Paris
Michele Zaccheo