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Directed by Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares
87 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
Political Animals tells the story of the first four openly gay people elected to the California legislature: Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe. Americans may think that the battle over same-sex marriage was won suddenly, but this documentary, directed by Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares, reminds us of the groundwork that was laid over decades by activists and politicians.
It’s astonishing what these women were able to accomplish during a time when prejudice against the LGBTQ community was widespread. Together they passed the state’s antidiscrimination and bullying bill for gay and lesbian students and the first domestic partnership registry enacted by a legislature. The film uses interviews and clips from legislative meetings through the years to underline how hard the fight for these protections was: Kuehl and Migden were compared by their colleagues to pedophiles and cattle―but were assured these insults weren’t personal.
Political Animals paints a vivid portrait of these four important―but largely overlooked―pioneers in the struggle for gay rights, showcasing the courage and tenacity that led to lasting changes that protect us all.
Winner: Audience Award–2016 Los Angeles Film Festival