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Philadelphia Demands to Be Seen

I'd like to express my appreciation for Scott Deskin's balanced review of the new film, Philadelphia. It is apparently a film that has a few problems, as his review and the defensive, preemptive, and apologetic statements made by Jonathan Demme and Tom Hanks as they promote it makes clear. But it is a film that demands to be seen.

We in the queer communities have been aware of this film almost since its inception, because Demme used it as a shield to deflect criticism of the homophobic elements of his Silence of the Lambs. As I have watched the project progress, I have assumed that I would be less than satisfied with the results, but I still believe in its importance.

So even though the gay characters in it are not allowed to express their natural affection for each other, because some straight folks in the audience might be made uncomfortable, I will see it and urge any who will listen to see it also. And I hope all of us, including me, can watch it as Scott Deskin did, acknowledging its defects, but not blinding ourselves to whatever is positive in it.