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great movie i loved it so much that i brought a copy and will be having a viewing party once it arrives
I was impressed that so many topics could be addressed in such a cogent way in one small film: Being black and gay; sacrifices made to be true to one's art; color bigotry among blacks and the segregated black upper class adopting some of the worst characteristics of the white upper class; Bruce Nugent; the rise and fall of the Harlem Renaissance; the importance of loving and being loved. Kudos to the writer and makers of this film. It deserves wide circulation and awards.
I'm 17 years old and i have not always lived in Cedar Hill , I'm black or should I say
colored. God bless those that realize that the world is not what it should be ,I just came
to see my self has a confused africa amrican ,that has not learned my real line of
antsisters.last weekend I'd say is when my Dad broke throw my adalested wall. You guys
should keep doing all that you do. All so if it is possiliable show it a little early so
that more of us young people can be reached . Pulled out of the dark fantasy made by a one
man world and maintianed life so that we can change the way the world sees each other.
Brother to Brother, A film of such character! I simply thought the film was extrodinary!
This film has shed lite on some dark areas of my life. I was beginning to forget the
struggle of our people but seeing this film reminded me of just how important struggle is.
I mean, I was able to see myself in the characters of the actors. I was able to identify
with the pain and rejection of wanting to be apart or better yet be heard. what a
statement this film is. It should be heard everywhere.
I was glad to see a film that was not focused on the sex lives of gay characters. This
production "humanized" the characters and highlighted the emotional struggles of gay
characters. I also like that the Harlem Renaissance was a part of the focal point of the
program. I was thoroughly entertained by it.
Vernon Hills, IL
Sometimes a film isn't what you think. I was ready to watch "just another gay movie". I
was elated to find that Brother to Brother was, in fact, a provocative masterpiece! Not
only did it stir many emotions inside of me, but it shed a light on The Harlem
Renaissance, a historic era that most people my age (Generation X/Y) have no idea even
existed. Rather that focusing on the "struggle", Brother to Brother focused on the whys
behind the struggle and the fellowship it brought to these remarkable individuals.
Although this film told a story of a time several decades ago, it has a very contemporary
appeal. I recommend this film as a must-see for anyone that has about and hour and a half
to be enlightened and entertained.
Have just watched the movie and realized it has been a long time I haven't cried for a
you ! Would like to say problems met during Harlem Renaissance are still current and we
fight against these treats every day. I feel concerned even if I am white and living quite
US. Finally, would like to wish lot of courage to black gays and will keep fighting next
Kevin Don Porter
Capitol Heights, Maryland
As an aspiring writer I enjoyed this insider's view into the minds of well-known, and not
well-known, writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance.
The subplot involving celebrated writers Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard
Nugent offered revealing flashbacks into the past and weaved seamlessly into the
day storyline. Anthony Mackie, the lead character, is a serious force on the big screen.
cynthia roche cotter
just stumbled upon "brother to brother" while unwinding at the end of a 12 hr day of being
visiting nurse in the simmering inner city of Boston. Thank you for a beautiful, sad and
inspiring view of the past and present life of African Americans. Kudos to Mr. Evans for
creativity and ability to convey this story. It is so wonderful to have real programs like
Lens - that is why I am a member - certainly not for the silly reality programs PBS is
towards this days.
Annemarie E. Woolley
Its been a very long time since I was touched deeply by something on TV. THANK YOU.
Lawrence M Kamhi MD
Brooklyn, New York
Thank you, PBS, the writer director, cast and staff who made this courageous, brilliant
moving film, Brother to Brother. In addition to educating me as to the history and
characters of the Harlem Rennaisance, the film is a bold statement of the trials and
experienced by a defiant contemporary Gay artist and his triumphant achievement of love,
self-conformation through a fortuitous eclipse with an elderly artist from the Harlem
who proves to be his spiritual forebear. Insighfully written, technically pleasing and
performed, Brother to Brother makes for a magnificent and provocative film experience,
its accolades and one that I will recommend for a long time to come.
I was taken by the passion and history of this film. I think going in blind and open
minded made it
all the more engrossing. The merging of the generations by common pain and common love was
New York, NY
I just saw this film and I loved it. It struck a perfect balance between the modern
of young gay black man and the history of the Harlem Renaissance. It also portrayed the
nuances of a
this type of relationship much better and with more detail than "Brokeback Mountain"
I thought the film was amazing. It made Harlem Renaissance come alive. I really loved the
between Bruce's past and Perry's present. I also thought that it was unusual but nice to
artists/writers who did not get much recognition or fame while alive -- for their stories
to be told
and their creativity and brilliance remembered. The topic that really drew me was
the black community, and this was nicely explored as well. I also really enjoyed the music
artwork in the film - it was truly a masterpiece. Six years of work was worth it indeed!!!
I was very impressed with the filmmaking skills demonstrated in this program. Great camera
excellent transitions from one scene to another -excellent techniques that were more
than I usually see on any television program. Made it a joy to watch.
The authors and artists of the Harlem Renaissance found controversy because their work was
their time. Controversy is neither necessary or beneficial, is just a reaction from people
shocked when a true artist show them something that, in any other way, they are not going
That�s the power of art.
I think Rodney Evans was really brave making Brother to Brother, because he is showing us
under the lens of beauty, respect and intelligence. I think that a movie can be a piece of
(even though almost everything is forgetable) this movie kept me thinking because of the
of the acting, the images, the soul of the characters!
I agree with Mr. Evans, those in power
finance what they think is going to bring back millons, thats why when we talk about film
about "industry" and NO art. IF, as a society, we value art, and, think that FILMS are
expression, we should found films with diverse and profound subject matters. Then, America
film directors such as Fellini, Bergman, Almodovar, etc.
Mr. Evans, thanks for your movie, and I hope you continue with your artwork no matter
San Francisco, CA
Brother to Brother is a sincere and necessary film exploring the Harlem Renaissance, a
lost in the pages of history. I agree with previous comments that this is a vital piece
the portrayal of gay African Americans in the present age and comparing the struggles and
that was so valiantly fought for in the past and still is being fought in the present age
homphophia, hate crimes, racism and the need for a voice to be heard.
I am most impressed with the fact that the director, Rodney Evans, has given the literary
artistic founders of the Harlem Renaissance that voice. The idea that interweaves and
past and present struggles for identity, pride and taking a stand, is revolutionary. I
director for bringing these ideas and emotions to the surface, giving life and credit to
founders of the Harlem movement. I definitely applaud his direct portrayal of the African
gay scene of Harlem past and present.
The only comment that I would like to make is that, even though this was an independent
ending is predictable. Perhaps this was necessary to give the film an artistic flavor.
However, I am
certain that Richard Bruce Nugent died under very different circumstances. Nevertheless,
not dectract from the film's strength, power, and message.
C E Russell
I was channel surfing and came across the last segment of Brother to Brother. What an
presentation and I want to share the video with others. It is so well done. The message is
Thank you for the visual joys and pain of our existance. It's sad that we all done hear
and understand the voices or execpt the human message. The Spirit Never Dies~
St. Louis, MO
This was a great production. I watched it on the grandaddy of PBS stations, KECT 9 St.
made me think, made me smile, made me angry and even bristle, but that's what I want from
Taking direct aim at TJ Shipley of Pueblo, CO. GOD made homosexuals and they are wrong,
then GOD is
Pauline M K
Simply stated: outstanding and thought provoking while introducing great afro-american
our time. Thank you Rodney Evans.
I really enjoyed this film. �In particular, I thought it was well done from the present
expression and the segway of skillfully moving back in time from both the young man's
rejection from his home as well as when Mr. Nugent shared his experiences, as a writer
Harlem Renaissance. �I never got lost during the time travels...well done. �And too, the
that era in Harlem gave me insight into �the issues they wanted to overcome and were
deliver their views in plain sight, how brave for them to have done so. �
�I definitely think the expression of our lives through the arts bridges understanding of
unfamiliar. People can experience the difficulties of ones who choose ways of living that
different and they may come to terms within themselves and diffuse their own personal
Artistic expression in cinema and in literature provides the opportunity to look in on
lifestyle, particularly when it is done with sensitivity as, "Brother to Brother" was done
viewer may be enlightened. �The audience becomes at ease with the prespective as the story
sensitive subject. This in turn evokes compassion, where there may have been hatred. We
insight and become familiar without being directly involved, thus more accepting of
differences. �I can imagine that homosexuality that included crossing racial lines had to
extremely painful in the past, as it was for Mr. Nugent.
�I don't think Mr. Evans had to summon bravery to do this film because I think we have
since that time, though I realize that there is still need for acceptance of differences.
prejudices are the penacle of bias and sadly so. �I am concerned that we have not come
our nation and the world. �Humanity reaks with prejudice all over the world with people
dying by the
thousands. I don't understand this incomprehensible state of affairs and often and
sorrowful of what
is happening. �I am so thankful that i live in this country and can freely sit here in the
of my home and write what I think about a film such as what I just viewed and not be
death. �But, I hear that there are some things happening that are not about freedom of
the recent visit of the President to West Virginia and how the people who wanted to be
herded into an area away from the media. People need to respect our leaders and we have to
attention from the grass roots as to who we put into office. �At the top, there is only a
not much of a voice. In our hometowns, we can be heard, if we participate.
�I agree with Mr. Evans about who has the power to be seen and heard in the industry. �I
am in the
music industry...check out connieguy.com, and I understand. �Once upon a time I could go
local video store, Blockbuster, and there was a section of films I always wanted to check
went to first, low budget, etc., then the company decided to scatter them around the store
they are more difficult to find. �Drat!
�We have to remember that there is a balance and the bad guys are not in charge. �WE are
and what we think manifests, what are we thinking? �WE are waking up from a deep sleep and
here because of Love and that is the bottom line. So what are we going to do collectively?
from one another and then teach what we learn.
�Thank you, I am so tired and some of this may need some cleaning up but you gotta know
that I was
inspired by the film to come to you here. Congratulations, Mr. Evans! Connie
I had the pleasure of experiencing this movie on our local PBS-station WOSU 34. I was
moved by the
parallels between the RBN character to Perry's. I can see the how the Harlem Renaissance
influences the current "Neo-Soul" for lack of a better word. This was a moving, touching
creativity, family, acceptance (others & self). Evans was brave for making this film and
will continue to hold up a mirror to us all to check the reflection and see if we're still
thank you. like others, i happened upon the film just after is began and was immediately
by the characters, the history and the story. i couldn't stop watching despite the
lateness of the
hour. as a young jewish woman, i grew up, came out into and was befriended by gay and
communities of color in chicago. i watched as artists continue to struggle against the
against the urging to smooth out their voices, to become more palatable, more viewer and
friendly. now i watch again, from the foothills of the rocky mountains, where the color of
people is different yet the struggle still the same.
thank you to pbs, montana public television and to all those who support the broadcast of
films like these. for many, pbs is truly a "window to the world" that we can not see, even
high altitude vantage point. for all those who read this posting, please urge congress to
funding for cpb, as it supports our rural public television stations.
The controversal elements depicted in art and writing is what brings life to real
Evans had not tapped into the controversy assoiated with the writers of the Harlem
there would be no story to tell. As a young African American female filmmaker, I have
found that the
best stories to tell are the ones most influenced by life. Those stories are true and
Art is always going to be controversal because it is one individuals perception of the
world and the
people in it. That one person is only going to give insite to what they see and yes many
agree or disagree, but that's why we need it...it makes the world colorful.
Brother to Brother shed some light on the truths of being black and a gay male. The energy
Harlem Rennais became so infectious when brought back to life through the characters.
excellent, his quite resolve was the cover on a boiling tumultous inside, exactly how so
The film was really fantastic, touching on several issues that are all interrelated.
Race, Artistic expression, and everything inbetween. All of these themes are connected,
they can easily reflect each other. Hopefully PBS will air Brother to Brother again.
Brother to Brother is a film I probably would not have seen had it not been on PBS, so
props to the
filmmaker and to PBS for making it so widely accessible. I have since learned that this
screened in my area and reviewed in my local paper several months ago, yet at the time I
it because it didn't seem to be something I could relate to. For one thing, I am not
I am in a racial minority, and I have had little exposure to the figures of the Harlem
Nor am I gay, although I have known people who are homosexual or bisexual. I confess to
experienced varying degrees of homophobia and a general lack of understanding about what
it is like
to be gay. As a teenager I even wrote a letter to an elected official asking him to limit
expressions of homosexual behavior. But during the past few years, reading about the
gay people and seeing films such as this one have helped me take a more sympathetic view
status of gays in our society.
I decided to watch Brother to Brother because I enjoy Independent Lens and the variety of
perspectives it provides. The film series has no parallel on television where I live
the Sundance Channel, but I don't have cable). Many of the programs in the series have
impression on me, but I thought this one was especially well conceived and executed. I
liked the portrayal of the cross-generational friendship between Perry and Bruce Nugent
and the way
it tightly linked the present to the rich (if difficult) past.
While watching the film, I found that I identified with Perry as well as the young Bruce.
am not homosexual and do not consider myself particularly creative, I tried to figure out
I realized that we share a lot of other things: the state of being young and outside of
mainstream; the sense of social isolation because of one's race or other unusual
the universal need to be understood and loved; the urge to artfully express one's thoughts
an exploration and a release; the idealistic desire to be true to one's art and oneself
selling out); the struggle to overcome ingrained prejudices and resentments -- I'm sure
more, but I'm just naming several that come to mind.
A lot of those issues, of course, are common to many people regardless of their
sexuality. But they
strike the characters of this story more acutely because in addition to those problems,
they have to
deal with the severe intolerance of gays that persists in our society. In Perry's case,
intolerance is compounded by a hostile intra-racial attitude toward homosexuals, a
I admit to knowing little about. However, I can relate to being marginalized within one's
as at times I have been viewed as too "American" by my more ethnically "pure" friends. So
would dismiss this as a niche film that appeals only to gays or blacks would be mistaken,
the story touches on many separate matters.
Nevertheless, the sexual orientation of the protagonists is a central theme of the
it is treated with the gravity it deserves -- and a bit of humor besides. Perry's
frustration are abundantly clear; even in a predominantly black school, he struggles to
companions who truly understand him. While I imagine that life was even more precarious
and other gay black men early in the 20th century, one impression I got from the film is
and his Harlem Renaissance friends were fortunate to have found each other -- a group of
with whom they could work and play and be themselves without fear of rejection or
had scarce recourse, as being both Negro and homosexual presented a double hurdle to
success in the
arts at that time: while an artist could hide his sexual behavior from the public, hiding
color was not so easy. (Oddly, it seems that the real-life Nugent was successful at the
not the former.) And while society has opened up slightly to the idea of homosexuality
intolerance and misunderstanding linger still. The connection made between Perry and Bruce
encouraging note for those who feel alienated in their own communities -- namely, that one
truly alone, that somewhere, sometime, someone has felt the same feelings and frustrations
The film is a remarkable achievement for a debut feature, although it isn't perfect.
faults is that the relationship between Perry and Jim is poorly developed, making it hard
the changes as they happen. The dialogue is at best functional; it often sounded unnatural
ears. And the conflict between Perry and his antagonistic classmate unfolds predictably
I've seen too many rap videos). But I think the work as a whole rises above its weaknesses
present a coherent, compelling story.
To Mr Evans:
As a 55 year old gay man who walked in his first Gay Pride parades more than 30 years
resonated with your wonderful film. There is a paralell between the African American
respect and the struggle gay peoples of all races face. You portrayed that with great
I have a thought about the structure of your film:
In the scenes that depict our young heros reaction to his white dates offensive remark
you show him
leaping out of bed and going to the baths. There, he reacts very unhappyly after having
sex. The reason is later explained as his wish for an understanding, loving and caring
Unfortunately, the structure of the film makes him seem ashamed of sex with men.
Forgive me but, why couldn't he address his problem with the insensative remark then and
That way, Your film would have more clarity about the ideas of gay pride and black
Or did I get that impression because of some editing done for broadcast?
I watched Brother to Brother last night and was so impressed with this movie. I believe
controversy is important in writing and art. Alot ot times, the "arts" portray imagines
that are pivotal to society, representing voices of those often unheard. Its, quite ironic
issues during the Harlem Renaissance are so important in society and the African American
today. This movie was trully a delight, I was so moved that I couldn't wait to tell
others. It has
also inspired me to do further research on the lessor known artist of the period. Once
wonderful job, can't wait to get the video. Wonderful enlightment and education.
Just when I had thought television had reached the pits, along comes a high point -
inspire filmmakers and audiences alike. Thank you for broadcasting this beautiful film on
I am looking forward to seeing "Brother to Brother" repeated, so that I can tell my
Kahana, Maui, HI
I had the pleasure of viewing "Brother to Brother" on PBS, as part of their Independent
and I truly can say is that it is moving beyond words. It is superbly written, directed
Rich in heart, thought, and wit, Rodney Evanss fictional work undoubtedly does justice to
intellectual ancestry and the strength of perseverance in the face of social injustice.
artistic and political achievement, Brother to Brother offers a rare glimpse of what it
means to be
a black, gay artist today as well as during the Harlem Renaissance, and marks Evans as a
unique voice in American cinema. Perry Williams is a talented young artist working and
New York. Art world success is knocking at his door, but Perry is afraid of selling out to
privileged world. At the same time, community and family support is elusive as he endures
barbs from his black classmates, rejection by his father, and a disappointing shallow
with his handsome white lover. Then Perry meets Richard Bruce Nugent, a living relic, who
was a poet
and painter of the Harlem Renaissance, along with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and
Thurman. Surreal narrative turns land him in the middle of scandalous parties and dinners
Harlem, and Perry learns that his struggle is not new and what is most important is a
self-image and a commitment to preserve truth and nurture his artistic spirit. Thank you,
for your strength of character and undeniable power to give voice to such a profound blend
El Paso, TX
This film stimulates a mryiad of nerves, heartstrings and brainwaves. So much more
thought provoking than the usual commercial fare (I walked out one of Hollywood's latest
star-studded drivel-fests just the other day). I just caught the film on pbs as I was
sleep--it is now 4:20 am but I had to log on to know more--such is the effect of artistry.
Los Angeles CA
The film's authentic portrayal of the human condition in conjunction with Evans' exquisite
illustration of Harlem's former creative community has left me enamored. The parallel
and present is undeniably compelling and the brilliant directing makes 90 minutes indeed
time to tackle the many issues addressed. Movie making is about provoking thought,evoking
and telling a relatable story. The use of diversity to convey universal feelings of
anger,frustration,sadness and longing is key. Brother to Brother in every way captures
elements and presents to the viewer an unforgettable, dramatic masterpiece, which most
Los Angeles, CA
I tuned to this program and was intending to watch it as I did work on my computer. It
long before I realized I had not punched a single key on my keyboard and that I was
in this extremely creative, historic and thought provoking masterpiece. I am not gay but
myself hurting from the stories of ignorance and intolerance.
I started thinking about who I would call to tell them about this film and it occurred to
none of my friends would have either the guts or the interest to see it...much less talk
I'm sitting here right now wondering about my choice of friends. I'm glad to see so much
feedback to this great art!
I somehow lost my remarks. Which I tried to send, but moments ago. In soma,
I think this film is amazing, and I am white. I found, in these two people, a need. And
expressed, and, in it's way consummnated.
But that was not the point.
The point was, there was this artist, this writer,and this amazing physical beauty ...in
managed to commune. "Commune" in the best of senses.
For there had been a moment
Of True Love.
No matter what churches forbade.
There had been, probably sensation. But more, there gad been care.
The film, alas, ends on a more than sadder note, with the writer's death.
But, in ends, too, on the glory of accomplishment, and the sensation of art
And love, hidden though it may be.
Brother to Brother is an outstanding feat in cinematogaphy. Movies that switch from black
to color always have me transfixed. The intermingling of the two formats was masterfully
should ensure an Emmy.
Not ever having been on a subway, I really got the feel for one through the camera's eye.
I was on an amusement park ride.
There is no controversy with the literary aspects of this film; neither is there a
problem with the
interracial life style. Brother to Brother is on the cutting edge.
My only negative comments regard the homosexual lifestyle coming to close to the edge,
in the public toilet scene and the love-making scene in bed. The director didn't need to
this far into the private lives of the characters.
Finally, the film is a masterpiece in telling the story of black writers in the early
I'm prompted to contribute for two reasons. Firstly, browsing through the messages
revealed no Canadian postings. Secondly, I have to take issue with MJ Davis of Chicago.
This kind of
trashing (and I use that term advisedly) requires a response. Interestingly, many of those
to convey what they like about the film or find moving in it give specific examples and
MJ appears to feel justified in indicting the film as "technically uninteresting", poorly
an example of "plain old bad movie-making" with little or no explanation of what lies
assessments. This is irresponsible criticism that doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.
How can we
assess the validity of such comments when no information is forthcoming about the criteria
applied. What does MJ consider to be technically interesting in film? What constitutes
Which works qualify as superior examples of the film-maker's art? Fair comment strives to
informative and constructive rather than vague and pejorative. Such remarks are all to
easy to make,
and they do a disservice to those who struggle against formidable odds to represent
that are rarely seen.
Just as i am ready to give up on finding something really thought provoking and
artistically fine on
television, I am lucky enought to have decided to turn to PBS and Independent Lens ,
belatedly. This movie is beautifull I want to be sure to tell PBS that this is exactly
need to be doing. I know that an entire evening of British comedy may please some people
but for me
it just means there is no where to go. I am white, 77 years old, and heterosexual (
married 55 years
to the same man!) but I enjoy learning about how other people live and I enjoy artistic
all media. Don't let the people who close their minds to everything but their own
you from continuing to air masterpieces like this.
Most of the previous comments I've read do a great job of expressing exactly how I felt
this film last night. All I can say is thank you PBS for broadcasting a wonderful film and
Mr. Evans for creating the best film I've ever seen portraying black gay artist. I was
mesmerized from start to finish.
This film was just wonderful. As a young person seeing this film opened my eyes to many
have set through History class many times and never once have I heard about the gay harlem
renaissance and the people who we learn about all the time that we're involved in it. I
everyone will view this film it was EXCELLENT.
What a beautifully written and acted story. The flashbacks are so genuine, the
relationships are so
honest. Wow. Wow, wow, wow.
IAM SO PROUD OF THIS FILM, I FELT LIKE I WROTE IT MYSELF! I CAME IN ON THE LAST 30 OR 40
THE MOVIE, BUT I HAVE SEEN NO OTHER THAT COMPARES TO ITS REALNESS. OUR COMMUNITY NEEDED
OUR BLACK MEN GAY AND STRAIGHT NEED TO SEE THIS FILM. I AGAIN AM SO PROUD OF ALL THE
ACTORS WHO MADE THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE COME ALIVE AGAIN IN THIS NEW GENERATION. I HAVE NOW
APPRECIATION OF HUGHES, HURSTON, NUGENT AND ALL THE OTHER CHARACTERS.HATS OFF TO PBS FOR
AFRAID TO SHOW HONESTY IN A FILM AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR CULTURE. I HAVE SHARED THIS FILM
ONE THAT I KNOW. PLEASE PLAY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN. IT DESERVES AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE.
I commend Independent Lens for providing an opportunity for artists with non-traditional
techniques to show their work and for allowing an audience eager to see something
opportunity to see such work.
The Harlem Rennaissance represents a complex era for the history of American arts and
(Black and White) for it is full of compelling characters with stories waiting to be told.
Bruce Nugent is one such character and his is such a story.
Unfortunately, Evans' weak film nearly cancels out this potential by trying to tackle too
issues in a brief, technically uninteresting film. The comparisons and contrasts drawn
lives of Nugent and Perry are painfully heavy-handed. It would have been enough to focus
conflict within the Black community (then and now). But to think that this conflict could
developed alongside questions about artistic integrity, the difficulty in navigating gay
relationships, etc is overly ambitious for a 90 minute work.
What's more, with the exception of the actor who played the older Nugent and the one who
young Langston Hughes, none of the performances are compelling. This includes the lead
doesn't have the depth to communicate the crisis the main character is in.
This film also suffers from a lack of directorial vision, interesting score, and
While some of these deficiencies may be the effect of budget limitations, most are the
plain old bad movie-making.
Oklahoma City, OK
What a relief it is that PBS and shows like Independent Lens continue to be champions for
arts and humanities and simply telling compelling stories about real issues that everyday
face and endure. Brother to Brother was a wonderful fictional glimpse into the life of a
young man who could have been facing any challenge. For black America, I m glad Rodney
brave enough to touch on a taboo subject and make black gayness real and tangible. From a
heterosexual from the Bible Belt, Mr. Evans conquered a mountain many artists never even
made his characters real and their stories rich and moving. May PBS and Independent Lens
this great quest to keep American audiences enriched by wonderful stories both fictional
I thought that the film was very convincing and reflected my present society today and the
that it is in. In reality the reactions of the general public is not as biblically
more ignorant to the choice of open relationships. Despite this there is no corner here
outcasts to assemble, but they perform a show with the opposite sex in the nightclubs.
means that they try to reduce discrimination,by presenting false images to the unattentive
who are Naive. Nevertheless, the style of dressing is most relative to my society than any
but I cannot say that there was ever an encounter that brought about the defeat of the
this strongly suggests to me that here, there is displeasure, but some transparent respect
of assoiciation and the individual. I give the film 5 thousand stars and hope that PBS
bring more of these images and views to fruition continuously. the film's composition is
appealing and captivating of all movies I have ever seen, this also includes series that
reality and exagerate on the circumstances. The setting and characters are very AWSOME! i
continue to discvribe the magnitude of my appreciation and the applause i gave after
film. I always watch television and have never been able to comment on the show or video,
becasue the effect was superficial. I made a pledge that I would look up the Channels web
write about it. That is how powerful the effect of this channel is and the programs as
well. I bow
down to the directors and compasers, especially the writers, producers and actors. Their
been heart touching to say the least and it is the first time that i have felt this way
film, I guess maybe because it depicts my society and the life of my friends as well. I
this continues and I will by the products especially affiliated with this movie.
Thanks for the opportunity to express my view.
St. Albans, New York
Like some of the others who saw this film, I too caught it after it had started and only
However, it was so compellingly alive, I was hooked to the end.
Not being an American, I gained a great insight into the struggles of growing up gay in
the 60s and, even though there have been great strides over the decades, how much things
remained the same. It was more ironic for me because the same night I listened on the news
story of gay-bashing in Brooklyn.
What was most poignant for me though, was how much I could relate to the teenagers
isolation and loneliness.
I guess the movie burst my bubble about how open and accepting America is about
has shown me that there are guys out there who, like me, who are looking for acceptance
not based upon what we may or may not have to offer or how we may or may not look, but
who were are . . . a guy wanting to be loved and to love in return.
Congrats to the cast and crew for such a superb rendering of the theme and for giving me
intimate glance into the life of Bruce Nugent and all the "Perry"s of our time.
Keep up the good work PBS.
I was so thoroughly entranced by this movie. I was moved, thrilled and completely engaged.
touched by the acting writing and the feel of this film. Fantastic job to the creative
Then came the credits.
I watched the film and waited to see who, where, how...all information conatained in the
While the big funders had their logo placement...Susan Sarenden had plenty of time to
film...why did this debut filmmaker have to rush his credits at this obscene pace? Those
on this film deserve the same time as Ms. Sarenden at the least.
Please respond or more appropriately please fix. Independent lens should do better.
marlene p. lewis
There is a God that leads and guides each of us to what we need, when we need it most.
my night. I was given "Brother to Brother"! As a devotee of both Zora Neale Hurston and
Hughes--and always curious about their relationship-- I knew the moment that I heard the
and saw the fashions that I had come upon something great. My viewing began midway the
film, but I
was riveted to both storyline and the magnificent performance given by each actor. Having
the Harlem Rennaisance in both undergraduate and graduate school, and having threatened to
definitive work on Zora Neale Hurston the person, the joy that I've held for literature
thought buried by life-happening), suddenly reappeared. You've re-awakened the sleeping
could go on and on, but I am afraid that the reader who encounters this will send out the
me. While "thank you" PBS feels far too inadquate to express my appreciation, it is all I
thank you for a wonderful evening of re-learning, entertainment, and giving me an even
understanding of what our artists overcame in order to produce.
i really enjoyed to feature i think every young gay&hetrosexual male or female even older
should watch this feature and learn, not judge with sterotypes but love and not hate...! i
like perry williams this movie was a great lesson in history...
As a Christain, I can't support the gay lifestyle. It is sin and condemned by the Lord
Bible says homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The homosexuals must repent of
and turn to Jesus.
Homosexuality is an inescapably religious issue. Morality is defined by religion. Repent
believe and your sins will be forgiven.
I missed the beginning of the movie, but when I realized what it was about, I felt
watch it. Excellent film! I am so glad that someone had the courage and insight to make
Society is currently being forced to face issues like homosexuality, but it seems like no
focusing on what it's like to be a gay minority. As a black lesbian, I am familiar with
struggles to fit in and find your space in society, and I think that everyone did such a
making the audience really feel what it's like to be different. I thank Mr. Evans and PBS
bringing us this film.
Rev. Donor Macneice
I tuned into "Brother to Brother" merely by chance. It had already been on air about 15
minutes so I
missed the start. However, I found it such a compelling play, I watched it right through.
of all - especially Anthony Mackie was superb. The whole subject of the young people
coming to terms
with who they were and the problems with growing up gay was dealt with in a most sensitive
brilliant way. In by work I often come across similar situations, and as a result I found
entire play extraordinarily compelling. I shall get the DVD of this production as it
should be seen
by many. Thank you for work and for the artists who acted in it.
Roger T. Ward
I just watched the film Brother to Brother last night in Houston and I was very grateful
to see the
positive dynamics of black gay life on television. Indeed, the life that many of us black
lead is not all that pleasant. Racial and sexual orientation discrimination is rampant
Houston. I am a 46 yar old black gay man and I have been paying a price for that having
and raised here in Harris county Texas. I have been effectively run out of the pubic
profession due to my being homosexual. I have never made any inappropriate gestures or
students or staff while working as a public school teacher. Still I am unable to find work
will not be renewing my teaching certificate this August when it comes up for renewal. I
looking for work in other areas such as office administration. I have a MA Degree in
History and am
a 7 year Honorably discharged Navy veteran. I have also self-published my first book in
entitled Anger Is What I Do Best and am trying to have that volume and another entitled
God published together in conjunction with First Books, Inc. this Fall, if I can get a job
pay for the pubishing costs.
I have made mistakes in life, but who has not. Yet, being black and gay, my mistakes all
reflect some type of image about blackness and gayness. This is why I so enjoyed the film
Brother. Thanks PBS and Independent Lens for your support.
I watched this program last night. I loved it. It was the first fiction work (sitecom,
entertainment) I've watched from start to finish on television in some time, maybe years.
I recognized the actor that played Bruce, wasn't he on "The Cosby Show" or
If a work is controversial, that just means it's making a point that everyone doesn't
agree with. I
don't think it's even possible to have some art, writing anyway, that everyone agrees
I don't know, maybe the landscape has not changed much. You regularly still hear about
getting people in trouble because of what they say or express. I think Evans was showing
of his convictions in this work, and it's a beautiful work. No doubt he'll be looked at in
light, maybe even hated be some segments of the society.
I certainly agree with Evans about whomever has the power, money, to make films in the
limits things you'll see to whatever is acceptable to them. That's why it's so important
to not let
that power concentrate itself into fewer and fewer hands. Unfortunately power is already
concentrated in very few hands in the media. That's why there's nothing worth watching on
TV. It's even more frietening when the news becomes dominated by a handful of owners.
state we're in now, and for example it's why no news agency demanded proof that Saddam had
I tuned into the film about 20 minutes in ...I enjoyed the movie about the struggles and
the scenes issues that these great writers and artists had. It has inspired me to go and
myself with the Period and its contributors.
Evans was very brave to tackle the complicated issues of race and sexuality in todays
intolerant society. He tells us that there's no shame in the homo game. It's a message we
here. Black men don't want to admit they're gay, its a mark of disgrace upon them that
others in the
black community could never forgive them for. This movie champions the cause of the gay
black man by
saying "we're here, we're queer, and we brought some fried chicken" The characters
question who they
are, not what they are. Inspiring. As I said before, there's no shame in their game and
there was we all have to realize that one shouldn't hate the playa' so much as the game.
I happened upon this film last night, as it was too hot to do my usual evening round of
work. It was
amazing, especially in the inter-generational connections made, both in the friendship and
cultural scenes of both eras. In some ways, so little has changed, especially the pressure
commercialism/profit-making exerts to tame and smooth radical, new, viewpoints. (note: my
station bleeped out the rare but tame obscenity, which in some ways just echoed this point
film). I'm no expert, but I have read a lot of novels and poems by writers of the Harlem
Renaissance; the flashback scenes gave me a new appreciation of who they were, what they
and the barriers they faced outside and inside of their communities.
I was very amazed by this film. There were points in the film that I cried and parts that
As a Caucasian women watching this movie it reminded me of a african american version of
Tomatoes, which is one of my favorites. The actors/actresses played wonderful roles. I
enjoyed the program.
This is a beautiful and brilliant film. I have no doubt that Rodney Evans had trouble
made, like the progressive writers in the film being told their writing must be tailored
"what the public wants". They stood firm and so did Rodney. Thanks for being true to your
This film teaches, moves, inspires and relates in a way that no film "the public wants"
I can't imagine anyone viewing 'Brother to Brother' and not getting something of value
I cannot begin to address the range of emotions I felt while watching Brother to Brother.
me say it is a breathtaking film in scope and dimension. The acting was first rate and
good or, dare I say, better then anything I've seen on the big screen. The story was
touching and I loved it's heart. It's an awesome film!! I'm so much better for having seen
This piece was so riveting. It's amazing how one person can open another's eyes allowing
precious glimpse at "the inner being".
Thank you so much for this superb program. Will it be on again and if so when? Thank you
Midwest City OK
I have never heard of independent lense and only caught the last hour of this awesome
Well done!!! Give us more ... much more of this type of programming.
Ms. Chaz Kyser
Brother to Brother was an excellent film, and one of the best I have seen that discussed
the life of
gay black males. Of course I also loved a chance to see the film writer's vision of what
like during the Harlem Renaissance for Hughes, Hurston and other less-known writers like
plan on buying the movie if it's available. Oh..and I know this may sound silly, but
is talented and quite handsome. Is there any chance someone can pass along my email
I found the film to be very stirring and touching. I don't share the same background as
characters, but I've experienced the pain and struggle of being different (thankfully)
mainstream of society. I'd rather be different and feel more than be 'normal' and shut
I don't necessarily think that controversy is essential in the expression of the arts.
think that controversy is an integral part of getting attention for the works. Look at the
difference between 'The Passion of the Christ' and the movie 'Jesus' that was put out
years ago and
very few people have heard of. Same story, completely differnt presentation. Controversial
and presentation of those subjects attracts attention and hopefully attracts people to
movies, or read the books, or see the plays that are those subjects' avenues for exposure.
controversy doesn't lie in the subject matter as much as it lies in the beholder's mind
Rodney Evans was extremely brave in the making of 'Brother to Brother'. While the
aren't as taboo as they were in the earlier part of the twentieth century, most of them
widely discussed. I applaud Mr. Evans for not only taking on the project, but for seeing
over the years that it took to complete the project. I think the subject matter is very
our time and I think it took a lot of guts to bring it out. I read somewhere that an
amount of the actors that read for parts in the movie didn't want to play the role of
says a lot right there. But just as the characters in the movie were unable to deny who
and how they felt, Mr. Evans seems to have embraced his feelings and desire to produce a
needed to be heard, even if the 'moral majority' didn't approve. Thank you Mr. Evans for
perseverence. While so many things have changed in our lives, so much has stayed the same.
I think it's vital that films that deal in diverse subject matters be funded. Fiction is
escape, but we also need to look at reality too. Too many people find refuge in the
world and turn a blind eye to our own.
I found the movie to be very provocative and stirring. I 'd never heard of the movie
before I saw
it on PBS. I couldn't turn it off. It forced me, more invitation than force, to go beyond
might feel about these people to appreciate, as much as I could, the struggle that they
to be themselves and to be recognized for who and what they were.
After the movie was over, I started looking for more information. I wanted to learn more
movie, the director, and the characters. While it is a work of fiction, real people were
Thanks to Rodney Evans for the movie, and thanks to PBS for airing it. As network
cable continue to carry worse programming, PBS is different. Thank you for helping our
hearts to open wider.
In my opinion, controversy is necessary for some artistic forms to be viewed and heard by
audience. The "buzz" of taboo will usually make a traditionally offended segment of the
pay attention and deal with issues that are not usually voiced in mass and mainstream
was very brave in making "Brother to Brother." He captured a deep-lying undertone of the
Renaissance movement. The Harlem Renaissance was a time where the "norms" of American
challenged and changed. During the 1920s, youth decided to meet unknown views of race,
sexuality, and art head on. I agree with Evans by saying that it depends on who one knows,
one knows in getting a film made. It is also about commerce and what is "in" at the time a
being produced. The corporate movie studios will often not touch a meaningful project
would not be a money making vehicle for them. It is important to fund films with diverse
order to enlighten and inspire those whose voices have not been heard to make their causes
I thought that this was an extraordinarily sensitive film that touched on the subtleties
complexities so often overlooked in our nostalgic "histories." The performances were
the interplay of the old footage, recreations and present were skillfully interwoven.
Thank you for
bringing this to all of us.
Cedar Hill, TX
The landscape has changed very little since the Harlem Renaissance with regard to artistic
expression. Just as in the scene where Wallace Thurman and Zora Neale Hurston were meeting
book publisher and asked to compromise their artistic integrity, I believe today's
artists, to a
great extent, are suppressed by publishers whose main concern is the financial bottom line
appealing to a wide audience. I was especially heartened to see this film on PBS at a time
current executive administration in Washington is pushing a socially conservative agenda
head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is openly accusing PBS of liberal bias and
for more conservative viewpoints. The good news is that there are other types of media
artistic expression may thrive, especially the Internet. I applaud Evans for making such a
provoking film at a time when mainstream (Hollywood) film-making is concerned with
violence and sex-filled blockbuster hits that gross big dollars in a short period time.
touched on many issues within the African-American community which need more open
dialogue-especially homophobia within the black community and the selective use of
scripture to brow-beat gays within the African-American community. I was also glad to see
film did not portray all African-Americans as homophobic but still shed light on the
issue. The film
highlighted some of the literary and intellectual contributions of gay African-Americans
culture and just knowing that gay African-Americans have made substantial contributions to
literature is very inspiring. This can help to change the image of homosexuals as a mostly
hedonistic sub-culture within society.
"....no one loves a genius child...."
This movie is so well written and acted that it shocks me that it's on network tv in
to the judgement at APT.
The visual images are throughly provoking while the writing clearly illustrates the
feelings of the characters. The writing is really amazing. The movie is so clever, you
though you've fallen into these people's skins!
This is the most profound insight in the Harlem renaissance and those black gay artist who
in the shadows of others because of their sexualual preference. There is a thirst among
American gay and lesbian community depicting our contributions as people of
integrity,honesty,sincerity,love, passion and conviction.
I think that controversy is definitely beneficial in art and writing...mainly because
general, want to be challenged...to be made to see and feel things that are out
routine.Controversy makes people dig deeper inside themselves to "pick a side"..."how do I
feel"...which in turn, makes them more confident in themselves period. I think that Rodney
very brave and insightful to make this film. I can relate to it....we need more of it. I
that the "landscape" of doing something like this might be more supported these days, than
the"Harlem Renaisance". I believe we do have a "little" more freedom of expression
there are still some of us who just aren't ready to move ahead. I do agree with Rodney on
funding issue. Everyone seems to be afraid to back something "diverse"....especially if
with homosexuality. We need to stop being afraid of what's real in this world. How can we
forward, if we keep standing still..
this is the importance of funding films with diverse subject matters...it's about moving
ahead...Thank you Mr. Evans.
Blue Island Il.
I watched thw film on wttw Chicago, on June the 14th. I found the film to be interesting,
to look at. I was not familiar with the charectors portraid in the story, but imidatly
brocast ended. I found myself at the computer, looking up the web site to find out more
them, and the whole subject matter, and to let someone know how much I enjoyed the film.
for giving me the opertunity to do both. Joy.m.Lee
I like that – an invitation to respond to a thoughtful dialogue! A first for
Talkback in my experience. I accept, but first want say that I found the film Brother to
be luminous, illuminating, educating, brilliant and it touched my heart and made my body
Good questions for Talkback:
Controversy is a natural part of the arts & the written/spoken word. These mediums of
expression are a perfect way to bring out to the world what is hidden, lost &
creator can benefit by being healed of the wounds of distressful experiences, and others
see/read/hear her work are enriched. The community and world at large can benefit by
empathy and hopefully use that to become whole human beings. The simplest painting can be
I painted giant pink triangles in my early thirties. The art critics in my city even
noticed them. I
hadn’t a clue what the symbol meant until I turned forty. It then became my own
controversy to come out as a lesbian.
Freedom of artistic expression is again at risk today. There is now a subcommittee in
that is trying take away all government funding for PBS programs in the next 2 years. On
tonight’s US news I watched parents trying to get books about gay families out of
libraries so their children won’t be able to see them. So yes, Evans was being brave
Brother to Brother. I feel like we’re right back in the early 1900s, despite all the
things that have happened since then.
Though independent films have come into the public consciousness, money & power still
lot of diversity out of the mainstream. The world needs more films like Brother to
Hollywood should be seeking out the millions of untold stories like this, instead of
few we’ve been glutted with since film began. Until then, viewers and readers will
under the illusion that the dominant culture is really the “only true way”.
Best of luck
with your future work.
I enjoyed the movie in that a dimension of black (African American) culture that certainly
yet not openly tolerated within all aspects of the culture (and to a degree the larger
society, ) is
exposed. The film, through its linkage of known individuals of the Harlem Renissance
culture and events, and gay characters in the 21st century black experience, provides a
insight to and apppreciation of both the power of and the ability and need for both the
written traditions and art forms in order to truely express the diversity of humankind.
Wonderfully done! Thanks!!
i think this is a great movie. it really shows the troubles that people in the harlem
dealt with, and how little appreciation they got. i think they should be another movie
one. the actora did a great good. they really protraited the people like they were. i love
movie and it really has changed my views on life.
In a day when right wing media and politics has usurped much of our culture I think that
PBS is one
of the few mediums for representing the majority that isn't far right or left.
become one of the litmus test issues within cutlture. I heard advertising for this show
and it was
upsetting. It is my hope that you do not air this series at this time. I believe PBS and
in general have bigger and more serious issues at stake than airing something that will
lightening rod simply for the pre-supposed subject matter. Controversy is beneficial, but
it must be
subtle, and not advertised in bold strokes. Some might find Evans being "brave" for this
in the African-American community probably will see it differently. Many in the film
find a great deal of value in this story, I don't think the general public will.