The Event Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Friday, 10/24/2003
Time: 11:00 pm

Venue: DCJCC
Tickets: $9

Type: Feature presentation

Metro Weekly Rating: (4 out of 5)

by Sean Bugg

IT'S NO SURPRISE that over the years AIDS movies, as all "genre" movies do, have developed their own set of themes and clichés: the dying gay man who throws one last party; warm yet steely mother fighting for her offspring; the family split between acceptance and rejection. What is surprising is a film that can take those well-worn clichés and re-weave them into a fascinating, moving and ultimately rewarding narrative.

The    EventThe Event opens with a deceased Matt Shapiro being removed from his fairly fabulous Chelsea apartment, where he has apparently committed suicide to end his intense suffering from AIDS. Small clues lead the district attorney's office to believe a crime -- assisted suicide -- has taken place, and dispatches Nicole Devivo (Parker Posey) to investigate. Devivo, who has not-hard-to-determine motives of her own, pieces together the story through flashbacks of the major figures of Matt's life, in particular his quiet, demure, yet eminently forceful mother (Olympia Dukakis).

The    EventWith a number of high-level cast members the acting quality generally soars above even the more maudlin moments, although Posey seems a bit out of sorts in a straightforward, straight-laced role. Dukakis, however, delivers a knock-out as a mother willing to do whatever it takes to ease her son's suffering: "Sometimes the only way to protect a defenseless child is to let him go back to god," she says. Her closing lines are a gut-wrenching testament to a mother's love -- and grief.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Internet Movie Database

Festival Venue:
Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC
1529 16th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 518-9400. (map)
3 blocks east of Red Line Metro / Dupont Circle station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.