The UBC Critical Studies in Sexuality Department will present a free screening of John Greyson’s award winning film Fig Trees on November 16th.
Last seen in Vancouver at the 2009 Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Greyson’s operatic tour-de-force reinvents the documentary. The protagonists of Fig Trees are two of the patron saints of AIDS activism: Tim McCaskell, a founder of the Canadian AIDS Action Now, and Zackie Achmat, who in 1989 refused to take anti-retroviral drugs until they were made generally available in South Africa. The story is a grand-scale narrative of personal heroism in the face of evil as personified by politicians and pharmaceutical executives. The result is a postmodern pastiche of palindromes, queer history, music history, and Catholic theology (with an albino squirrel thrown in for good measure). Riffing off another famously queer opera, Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s “Four Saints in Three Acts,” the film features a first-rate score by collaborator David Wall.
Royal Bank Cinema, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
26 November 2009 @ 7pm