Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Honored by the Moon

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $150.00
  • Date: Copyright 1990. Released 1990.
  • Descriptors: Indians of North America. Homosexuality. Gay men. Lesbians.
  • Production Information: Live action, Stills. Produced by Mona Smith . Sponsored by The Minnesota American Indians AIDS Task Force. Color. 15 min.
  • Production Company: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606 Available from production company
  • Cataloging: 291.566 Gays - Religion||Indians of North America - Sexual behavior
  • Print Entry #: 2:530
  • Reviewer: Sherre H. Dryden

    Honored by the Moon consists primarily of gay and lesbian Native Americans (five women and two men) talking about spirituality, "coming out," and their relationships with family. Their comments are intercut with footage from a picnic held during a conference for Native American lesbians and gay men, and with black-and-white historical photographs.

    The central element in all of the comments is a belief that there is a special sacredness associated with being lesbian or gay. Richard LaFortune, one of the film's subjects, explains that "the power of the gay and lesbian people historically has been that we're in the middle . . . we're between male and female . . . it reflects the fact that we're between this physical world and the real world . . . we're connectors . . . people have always recognized that and called upon our powers, which nobody else really has."

    Although this spiritual point of view, and some knowledge of the historical position of homosexuals in Native American cultures, clearly informs the lives of these women and men, the viewer is left uninformed. No background in Native American spirituality is given (do heterosexual Native Americans concur with this belief in the special sacredness of the homosexual?) - there are only passing references to the berdache and other presumably Native American gender roles.

    This lack of supporting information makes Honored by the Moon only useful as a starting point, particularly for audiences who are neither Native American nor lesbian or gay. And it is actually an excellent starting point; the technical quality of the production is superior and the subjects are articulate and interesting. The video would complement the study and discussion of Native American culture or the lives of homosexual Americans. Books and organizations that can supply the necessary additional information are listed at the end of the program.

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