Out of the Past (1998)

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1h 37min
Age rating


Stephen Spinella
Michael Wigglesworth
Gwyneth Paltrow
Sarah Orne Jewett (voice)
Cherry Jones
Annie Adams Fields
Edward Norton
Henry Gerber (voice)
Linda Hunt


In 1995, Kelli Peterson started a gay and straight club at her Salt Lake City high school. The story of her ensuing battle with school authorities in interspersed with looks back at the diary of Michael Wigglesworth, a 17th-century Puritan cleric, at the 30-year love affair of Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Adams Fields, at Henry Gerber's attempt after World War I to establish a gay-rights organization, at Bayard Rustin's role in the civil rights movement, and at Barbara Gittings' taking on of the American Psychiatric Association's position that homosexuality is illness. One person comments, "To create a place for ourselves in the present, we have to find ourselves in the past."

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