In the summer of 2006, seven young women violently defended themselves from an anti-gay bigot in New York City's Greenwich Village. Or so they claim. The male perpetrator, or victim depending on which version of the story you read, says he was unreasonably attacked by a gang of angry lesbians. Four of the seven were eventually convicted, with two facing pending sentencing appeals.
Inspired by the headlines, the new documentary Out in the Night tells the story of four young African-American women from New Jersey who became known as the ‘gang of lesbian killers’ when they defended themselves from sexual assault.
The film, which was funded on Kickstarter, recounts the case of all of the women involved, focusing mainly on gender non-conformist Renata Hill and petite femme Patreese Johnson. It also examines how each woman's race, class, gender and sexual identities became criminalized in the news media and legal system. Ultimately, the film poses the question: How would have this unfolded had it been four straight white women instead?
Out in the Night will premiere on Wednesday, June 18th at the IFC Center, with another showing on Friday, June 20th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. A discussion with the filmmaker and the film’s subjects will follow both screenings.
Photo via Kickstarter.