Macky Alston (Hard Road Home) returns to Independent Lens this season with his new film Love Free or Die. Independent Lens sat down to discuss the genesis of his latest work, and the very personal angle from which he chose and profiled his subject. Love Free or Diepremieres tonight onIndependent Lens at 10 PM (check local listings).
What impact do you hope Love Free or Die will have?
It is our hope that our film will do two things:
Reveal to people who are not currently sympathetic that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are fully human; that the way we live and love is not intrinsically better or worse than the way heterosexual people do; that our lives and freedoms matter as much as anyone else’s and that when we are free to love and live, our families and communities are a valuable part of the fabric of humanity. On the flip side, we aim to reveal to LGBT people who have been hurt by institutionalized religion that religious people and institutions are not all anti-gay and that there are a lot of religious people, some of whom are LGBT themselves, who are heroically standing for LGBT equality.
Show each one of us that when we stand for justice, we can be catalysts for historic social and systemic change. In Love Free or Die, Bishop Gene Robinson chooses to tell the truth about who he is and what he believes to be right and true. His courage inspires thousands around him to do the same. Together, their stories and stands move the church for the first time in the history of Christendom and the state for the first time in American history to overturn policies that discriminate against LGBT people. The fact that where each of us stands can make a difference is indisputable. History shifted as a result of everyday people right before our eyes as we filmed Love Free or Die. Continue reading →
The 11th season of Independent Lens kicks off with Macky Alston’s documentary Love Free or Die.
With a new home on Monday nights, Independent Lens is ready to kick off its 11th season with a slate of award-winning documentaries that focus on various issues in America. Independent Lens senior series producer Lois Vossen told Real Screen: “All of the films are meant to really be conversations where people talk about the big issues: the war on drugs, rape in the U.S. military, the U.S. economy, the demise of the middle class, gay marriage. All topics that have people sort of polarized – and our goal is to try and bridge that divide… More than anything I would say that’s what ties this to an election year – this idea of what’s happening in contemporary America.”
By Steve Goldbloom, Reporting for PBS and BTB at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Premiering Monday night at Sundance is Macky Alston’s new film Love Free or Die, which follows the historic and controversial rise of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop. BTB caught up with Alston at a mass held at St. Luke’s Church on Sunday in Park City, where LGBT leaders showed up to support and discuss the film.
Love Free or Die is an ITVS-funded film slated for broadcast on an upcoming season of Independent Lens.
The documentary, by filmmakers Macky Alston and Sandra Itkoff, explores issues of faith, love, marriage, homosexuality, and the Episcopal Church — focusing on the first openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
“The agents of change in America are the folks who I know to watch PBS,” said director Macky Alston when asked about why public media was the right fit for the documentary. Hear more from the filmmakers of The Truth Will Set You Free in the exclusive ITVS Production interview below.