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Directed by Chris E. Vargas, Eric A. Stanley

United States 2007 26 mins.

In conjunction with the Portland Art Museum exhibition We.Construct.Marvels.Between.Monuments, highlighting artists working within the queer and trans diaspora, this program includes a panel discussion and two collaboratively made films from artist-scholar-filmmakers Chris E. Vargas and Eric A. Stanley. Their Criminal Queers “visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex.” On the surface a queer and campy romp disguised as a madcap prison escape narrative, cultural references abound along  with literal education from Angela Davis, who plays a Professor Davis who teaches the course “Prison Industrial Complex 101.” The filmmakers’ earlier Homotopia, shot on digital video and Super 8mm, weaves within its narrative a “critique of the crushing violence of homonormativity and its deadly perpetuation of US patriotism, conservative kinship structures and affective accumulation.” As the narrator declares, “our tactics are as varied as our genders, our activism as hot as our sex, and our resistance as untethered as our desires.” The program begins with a panel discussion with Vargas and Stanley followed by the two films. Admission includes access to the museum exhibition. Attendees are encouraged to visit We.Construct.Marvels.Between.Monuments., on view in the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, ahead of the discussion and films.

Genres: Narrative

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.