‘Lavender Scare’ Next for AJFF
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‘Lavender Scare’ Next for AJFF

The film about a federal purge of homosexual employees represents the festival collaboration with Out on Film.

Frank Kameny protests efforts to force out gay federal workers in a scene from “The Lavender Scare.”
Frank Kameny protests efforts to force out gay federal workers in a scene from “The Lavender Scare.”

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is partnering with Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT Film Festival, for September’s AJFF Selects film, “The Lavender Scare.”

“The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is delighted to continue a longstanding partnership with Out on Film in presenting this timely and important documentary,” AJFF Executive Director Kenny Blank said. “This powerful exposé revealing a shameful chapter of American history, and the partnership between our two unique film festivals, demonstrates our shared mission to explore themes and subjects relevant to all audiences.”

The documentary tells the story of a campaign by the federal government to identify and fire all homosexual employees during a period that overlapped the McCarthy-era hunt for Communists.

The purge, documented in an award-winning book by historian David K. Johnson, cost thousands of government employees their jobs at a time when public service films treated homosexuality as a contagious disease and The New York Times uses “pervert” as a synonym for “homosexual.”

“The Lavender Scare” is screening at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, to be followed by a question-and-answer session with filmmaker Josh Howard.

Tickets are $15. A $30 VIP ticket includes a VIP reception after the screening at Après Diem, which is in the same shopping center as the movie theater.

Tickets are available at AJFF.org/lavenderscaretix.

“The film could not be any more topical, and I look forward to sharing a piece of history with Atlanta audiences, many of whom might not know the full story behind the Lavender Scare,” Out on Film Executive Director Jim Farmer said.