In the 1970s, Vito Russo traveled across the country giving lectures on the depiction of gay characters in both Hollywood and foreign films. Out of this experience, he wrote The Celluloid Closet in 1981, a groundbreaking study of the representation of gays in the movies. In addition to his work as a scholar, Russo was a fearless leader in the gay liberation movement and a vocal AIDS activist. He co-founded GLAAD, the organization which now presents the Vito Russo Award every year to an openly gay or lesbian member of the media community for their commitment to combating homophobia, as well as ACT UP, the media savvy AIDS protest group famous for their “Silence Equals Death” pronouncement. Russo was 44 when he died, and it is claimed that some of his ashes rest inside the walls of the historic Castro Theater in the heart of San Francisco.

Hollywood, that great maker of myths, taught straight people what to think about gay people...and gay people what to think about themselves. - Vito Russo
Home | Contact | About the Film | Comment