FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: George Nickle 818-232-7078
As the polarizing issue of gay marriage re-invigorates the "cultural wars" of the last decade, the classic documentary BALLOT MEASURE 9 resonates as strongly as ever. The film shocked movie-goers in 1995 with its inside views of a divisive gay-rights battle and the unprecedented violence the campaign rhetoric provoked across the state of Oregon. Local activists, risking their lives, were given full-time police protection, slept with guns under their beds, and on election night wore bullet-proof vests. Families were torn apart, neighbor set against neighbor.
Director Heather Lyn MacDonald ducks behind the headlines to lay bare the passions and strategies that drove both sides. Culled from hundreds of hours of material shot over the nine months leading to the election, BALLOT MEASURE 9 tells a story of driving urgency. As the level of violence escalates, the documentary acquires the tension and suspense of a fiction film.
The ballot initiative Measure 9 was intended to revoke and prevent civil rights protections for homosexuals and to mandate that schools teach that homosexuality is "abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse." Statewide, a virulent discourse resulted, and in this climate came the inevitable rise of anti-gay harassment, physical attacks and murder. The newly formed bias crimes unit tracked a 500% in anti-gay violence in Oregon that year.
The chasms that divide this country are no less divisive today, and BALLOT MEASURE 9 is as relevant as it ever was. The DVD EXTRAS bring audiences up to date, with a new 40-minute bonus documentary, a commentary track featuring Director MacDonald and some major figures in the film, more info about Measure 9 and similar campaigns since then, plus bonus scenes.
AWARDS: Sundance Film Festival-Audience Award . Berlin Film Festival-Teddy Bear. Edinburgh Film Festival-Best of the Fest . Los Angeles OUTfest-Grand Jury Prize. Denver Int'l Film Festival-People's Choice Award . GLAAD Media Award-Best Documentary.
"Riveting...emotionally sizzling." - SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"Galvanizing." - NEW YORK TIMES . "Unnerving." -NEW YORKER
"One of the year's outstanding documentaries." - SEATTLE TIMES
"Easily one of the best movies of the year...positively simmers." - LOS ANGELES WEEKLY
"Shocking" - TORONTO GLOBE & MAIL . "Splendid...breathlessly paced " -NEWSDAY
72 min.+features / USA / color / NR / 2008 (original theatrical release 1995) DVD street date: January 29, 2008
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