AVAILABLE ON DVD MAY 19, 2009
Following the Battle for Human Rights
Between Soulforce and Focus on the Family
SoleJourney, the new documentary by Kate Burns and Sheila E. Schroeder, documents the protest efforts of LGBT-rights group Soulforce, which uses nonviolent resistance and creative acts of civil disobedience to oppose religious and political oppression.
The film begins by examining the dangerous political policy making and anti-LGBT rhetoric of Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family, the well-funded, well-connected evangelical Christian organization known for their frequent assaults on the civil liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. The small group of dedicated and courageous individuals who make up the Soulforce movement then take action against this colossal adversary with a six-day, 65 mile march from the Colorado State Capitol in Denver to the Focus on the Family's headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO.
A culmination of two years of advocacy and action, SoleJourney concludes with the ongoing "Focus on the Facts" campaign. Participants show how they hope to help America connect the dots between the false and defamatory rhetoric that flows from Focus on the Family and the unending crusade against the rights of LGBT people and their families.
Interweaving stories of courage and commitment and interviews with movement leaders such as Soulforce founder Dr. Mel White, Judy Shepard of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Reitan Family featured in For the Bible Tells Me So, and actor-activist Chad Allen, star of Save Me, SoleJourney shows how a small band of committed people, following in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., use the principle of relentless nonviolent resistance to take on a formidable foe.
Soulforce was founded in 1998 by Rev. Mel White and his partner, Gary Nixon. Raised as an evangelical Christian, White fought to ‘overcome’ his homosexuality for decades with prayer, psychotherapy, exorcism, electric shock, marriage and family. His struggle to understand and accept his homosexuality and his Christian faith are described in his book, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. In 1997, he was awarded the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the "soul force" principles of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities.
Kate Burns is the author of three books and editor of thirteen anthologies, including Gay Rights Activists; History of Issues: Gay Rights Activism; Gay and Lesbian Families; and At Issue: Gay Marriage. Her expertise in the history of LGBT activism is what led her to SoleJourney. She made her filmmaking debut with the short documentary Crunch! in 2006.
Sheila Schroeder is a veteran documentarian whose five documentaries have shown at nearly 45 film festivals across the country. Her filmmaking mission is to amplify the voices of marginalized people, and she has done this most notably in her film Proud Alumni (2004), about her alma mater’s refusal to print her same-sex wedding announcement. Her filmmaking partnership with Kate started with their 2006 film Crunch!, which screened at over 25 film festivals.
DVD BONUS FEATURES: Short Film: Marriage Equality Action • Directors’ Statement • Press Kit • Resources
“If you’re interested in using non-violent resistance as a way to maintain self-respect while simultaneously tackling prejudice, then SoleJourney is a trip worth taking.”
– PHILADELPHIA INT’L GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL
59 minutes, color, 2008
UPC #: 720229913690 • Catalog #: FRF 913690D
Suggested Retail Price: $24.95 • Street Date: May 19