Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

Despite his achievements in the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin was silenced and imprisoned due to being an openly gay man in a homophobic era.

Brother outsider 01
Premiere Date
January 20, 2003
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2003 Cinequest Film Festival-Best Documentary Feature Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2003 Lesbian and Gay Film Festival,Turin, Italy-Best Documentary Award
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    2003 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival-Best Documentary
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    2003 OutFest: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival-Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
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    2003 CINE Golden Eagle Awards-CINE Golden Eagle Award
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    2005 LGBT Festival, Vienna-Audience Favorite Award
  • Kates nancy filmmaker bio

    Nancy Kates

    Nancy D. Kates is a filmmaker and writer based in Berkeley, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University’s documentary film and television program, where she created a number of short films; her M.A. thesis film, Their Own Vietnam, received the 1995 Student Academy Award in Documentary. She is a former producer of Computer Chronicles, the PBS Show more series, and has worked as a producer, writer, and story consultant on various documentary projects. Kates is a former staff writer at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and also works as a writer, consultant, and futurist. Show less

    Singer bennett filmmaker bio

    Bennett Singer

    Bennett Singer is a New York-based filmmaker and book editor. He has served as producer/director or associate producer of a number of acclaimed documentary series, including the Emmy, Peabody, and duPont-Columbia-winning Eyes On The Prize II, With God On Our Side, and The Question of Equality. He served for eight years as executive editor of TIME Magazine’s Show more education program. Singer is the editor of 42 Up, the companion book to Michael Apted’s famed documentary series; editor of the award-winning Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian; and co-author of The Student Body, a novel of suspense published by Random House. He is currently directing a feature-length documentary on America’s dysfunctional voting system. Show less

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    The Film

    During his 60-year career as an activist, organizer, and "troublemaker," Bayard Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the American civil rights movement. His passionate belief in Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence drew Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to him in the 1940s and 50s; his practice of those beliefs drew the attention of the FBI and police. In 1963, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever seen. But his open homosexuality forced him to remain in the background, marking him again and again as a "brother outsider." Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin combines rare archival footage — some of it never before broadcast in the U.S. — with provocative interviews to illuminate the life and work of a forgotten prophet of social change.