U People
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U People

USA, 2008, 77 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Black / African American, Butch / Femme Issues, Discrimination, Documentary, Female-to-Male, Gender, Lesbian, Parenting / Family, Racism, Transgender
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTORS: Olive Demetrius, Hanifa Walidah

U People captures a cast and crew of color during the joyous making of a music video called Make a Move, which was broadcast nationally on MTV/LOGO. This accidental documentary, shot on location in a Brooklyn brownstone, highlights intimate, witty stories of struggle and triumph over prejudice, gender boxes, mother-daughter relationships and the links between civil and queer rights.
Interweaving historical 8mm footage of African American Brooklyn house parties, the film celebrates the cultural legacy of the “first Black family [home] on the block.” Where Make a Move marks a major contribution to queer folks of color on TV, this behind-thescenes experience further dismantles the blanket categorization and ignorance inherent in the phrase, “you people.” Students of diversity and multiculturalism get a lesson on the phrase “you got your own back,” as complex identities fly in the face of stereotypical groupings. At the same time, unwavering values around family cohesion, parenting and eldercare portray survival practices in a not-so-kind-and-gentle world, where community is intentional.
The beautiful people in U People disrupt and call into question a society obsessed and distressed by labels while celebrating commonalities when debate occurs in “safe spaces.” Featuring gay and straight women and gender non-conformists from Louisiana to New York, U People is a refreshing, deep look at sisterhood and allies, as participants candidly express spiritual wisdom and self-determination. — ELSA E’DER

co-presented by

Queer Women of Color Film Festival

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