Wed Mar 1, 2023 – 5:30 pm | Downtown Beloit Association
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Hating Peter Tatchell
Directed by Christopher Amos
Australia| 94 min | 2021
Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Queer Screen’s Film Festival and Winner of Best Original Score at the Documentary at the International Sound & Film Music Festival, Hating Peter Tatchell is one of this year’s must-see documentaries. Nominated for multiple awards including Best Feature Length Documentary at the Screen Producers Australia Awards and Best Direction in a Documentary Feature at the Director’s Guild Awards. A contender for this year’s Australian Academy of Cinema, Television Arts (AACTA) for Best Documentary craft awards and Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
From executive producers Elton John and David Furnish, Hating Peter Tatchell is the powerful and inspiring true story of the controversial human rights campaigner whose provocative acts of civil disobedience rocked the British establishment, and revolutionise attitudes to homosexuality and exposed world tyrants.
Featuring an amazing array of rare archives and an intimate conversation between celebrated actor Ian McKellen and Peter himself, as well as evocative interviews with the likes of former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, activist Angela Mason, and actor Stephen Fry, this film explores what motivates Peter Tatchell’s lifelong fight for equality.
The documentary follows Peter Tatchell’s childhood life, his relationship with his mother and his influences in Melbourne, Australia, including his involvement in the movement against the Vietnam War and the draft in the 1960s.
Hating Peter Tatchell also includes Peter’s confrontations with Mike Tyson (2002) and Robert Mugabe (1999 and 2001), his Bermondsey by-election bid for parliament in 1983 (the most homophobic election in British history), staging the first LGBT+ protest in a communist country (East Germany 1973), and his Easter Sunday protest in Canterbury Cathedral in 1998 against the anti-gay policies of the then leader of the global Anglican church, Archbishop George Carey.
The film shadows him as he embarks on his bid to protest at the FIFA World Cup in Moscow in 2018, to draw attention to the persecution of LGBT+ people in Russia and Chechnya. We witness his arrest near Red Square and the Kremlin.
News & Reviews
Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021
The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022
The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022
The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022
The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022
The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022
The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022
The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022
The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022
“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada
“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight
“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada
“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner
“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine
“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press
“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio
“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee
“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director
“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest
“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness
“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio
“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times
“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif
In 1999, I first met activist Peter Tatchell soon after arriving in London from Australia. I was drawn to his dedication to campaigning for human rights over such a sustained period, thirty-plus years already at the time. Yet, despite his considerable efforts fighting for equality, Peter was facing severe criticism, even from within the LGBT+ community. Shockingly this included hate mail and death threats. Throughout the time I have known Peter he went from being a public figure who the media and critics loved to hate, to a beloved national treasure – this fascinated me.
Over the past two decades, I have come to appreciate first-hand Peter’s eccentricities, his meticulous organisation, and witnessed his arsenal of direct action tactics defending human rights. I admire his dedication and bravery.
In 2016, I set about making my feature directorial debut to tell Peter’s incredible story. Following three years of research, development, and funding knockbacks in the UK, on the advice of a mentor, I moved back to Australia to seek finance. Soon after, Veronica Fury of WildBear Entertainment embraced my vision to document Peter’s life’s work and we were in production.
In February 2020, we were fortunate to travel to London to film our master interviews, including interviews with Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, and Peter Tatchell. We returned to Australia to edit the film one month before the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions occurred.
Throughout this lockdown period, the entire post-production team, including a dozen musicians, worked remotely from their homes scattered across the UK and Australia. Coincidentally, the Black Lives Matter campaign reignited just as we finished our film about a direct action legend. Suddenly, there seemed a deep sense of urgency to tell Peter’s story now.
Society can be unkind to those who shake up the status quo. People are afraid of change. In Peter’s case, he forces people to take a stand on human rights issues, one way or another. Sometimes facing ugly truths is confronting, even shameful, and Peter’s direct action tactics are viewed by some as a step too far. However Peter is one of the most peaceful people I have met. He uses non-violent tactics; words, not weapons, to make his point.
Peter has spoken out against human rights abuses when others have stayed silent and he remains a shining example of how one person truly can make the world a better place. By following his story, this documentary ends up a ‘how-to’ guide for direct action. Hopefully able to inspire a new generation of activists to campaign for whatever they believe in. To fight injustice like Peter.
A lot of people say, “But what can I do?” Peter doesn’t question; he acts. It is these actions and this striking mindset that deserves recognition and to which this film is a testament. – Christopher Amos
Christopher Amos is an Australian British director/writer and producer.
Christopher graduated from Film & Television from the Queensland University of Technology, studied a Masters in Scriptwriting at the London School of Film, Media & Performance. Attended Raindance receiving diplomas in Producing and Documentary Filmmaking.
In 2021, Christopher was nominated for Best Director Feature Documentary at the Australian Directors Guild Awards for Hating Peter Tatchell, the critically acclaimed life story of the controversial human rights activist, starring Ian McKellen, and Stephen Fry.