The Ohio-born filmmaker brings much-needed attention – and celebration – to ‘Black Rainbow Love’ | Ohio News | cincinnati
Angie Harvey doesn’t jump off her chair to call herself a filmmaker.
Say that about the awards the Cleveland native scooped up for her debut documentary, Black Rainbow Love.
“Black rainbow love‘ shares the stories of 27 lovers in the Black LBGTQ+ community. Each story reflects the true lives of real people from a community whose culturally relevant stories are not told, seen, shared, or discussed.
The film has already been an official selection for a dozen film festivals across the country, including the Cleveland Urban Film Festival on September 17th.
Meeting Angie Harvey
The Buckeye Flame caught up with Harvey to discuss the meaning of the film and how Ohio has influenced her cinematic approach.
Q: Getting straight to the point, how important is it to tell Black LGBTQ+ stories right now?
A: Oh my god, it’s very important. But more than important, it is necessary. Someone who is representative – people who look like them, live like them and love like them – is something that unfortunately hasn’t been seen on a global scale, which is driving me insane.
See I lived in the church. My mother is a lesbian. My sister is a lesbian. My daughter is a lesbian. So I was there, but there are people who haven’t had anywhere near the attention that I’ve had.
Q: I could imagine that your film will bring this portrayal to a wider audience.
A: It is! I have grandmothers who are now more informed about their children. My neighbor came to a screening. My pastor – my pastor! — a white, straight male raised to believe that homosexuality is a sin and that we would all rot in hell. Now he wants to show the film of his leadership and is in constant communication with me about how we can be more like Jesus who was not judgmental or judgmental. So the film exceeded my expectations from the very beginning of the discussions.
Q: How much does being an Ohioan affect how you made the film?
A: I want to be clear: this is my first film. I’m a social worker. i am a therapist I’m a motivational speaker. I do retreats. That wasn’t in my wheelhouse. But when I think about it, I’ve been in the people business for over 20 years. I know that if Black LGBTQ were a company, I know all of their senior management, I know most of their vendors, and most of their employees know me.
So who better to trust your story and experiences than me? Ohio raised this girl. I went to Cleveland State University. I went to Case Western Reserve. I graduated from Streetsboro. I was the first black student to graduate and I was the only black student in that school. I know what it’s like to be the only one in the room. Ohio taught me everything I know to do this thing, including the tenacity of being “the only one in the room.”
Q: After all these performances, when the lights come on and people sit with what they saw, where should their minds go?
A: I’m so glad you asked that, Ken. I didn’t just want to make a film where people just come to be entertained. I never pass on knowledge without giving you a commission and asking you to grow from the story.
And STORY is an acronym that means to seek, to taste what you see, to be open and vulnerable, to recognize what you see in your life and to give in and grow from what you have seen.
We don’t grow as a human being by keeping our stories to ourselves. Straight, white, gay, everyone will run away with the a-ha. Everyone will see themselves or someone they know, and this will stimulate the conversations necessary to continue growing in maturity, knowledge, and education. That is what is needed right now.