Toward the end of Phil's life, he shifted his attention and energy to filmmaking. In my opinion,
his best work was the film "Rights and Reactions" Lesbian and Gay Rights on trial. It was
nominated for an Emmy and selected as a featured film at the Berlin Film Festival. Produced in
the late 1980's, the film portrays the Civil Rights movement as it was playing out in the gay
population. The film captures the inside look at the New York City Council "finally" passing
the "Gay Rights Bill" (as it was called), after more than a dozen tries. It is required watching
for anyone who wished to have a first-hand view of how civil rights legislation successfully
played out and justice prevailed.
During 2018, Phil's film "Fear of Disclosure," which he co-produced with David Wojnarowicz, was
prominently displayed in a number of venues. In the fall, New York's Whitney Museum ran a
retrospective on David's life, and included the film. Phil is the narrator, speaking about the
HIV-AID's stigma that was wreaking havoc during the 80's.
Phil's final film "Needle Nightmares," was an autobiographic work created during his final
days. It touches many raw nerves but reminds us how precious life is. All three films, along
with other interviews of and by Phil are on our website in the Film section.
Phil loved the visual arts and we are proud that his films are being utilized to portray the ongoing
struggle for gender equality.
We also celebrated the first Cornell fellow winning the fellowship award based on visual arts versus
our historic focus on writing. "Bleeding for Equality" portrays through an art form the violence
that has endured in the LGBTQ community. The artist, Farah Griffin, sought to graphically depict
the violent attack of Claudia Brenner and the death of her partner Rebecca Wight. To illustrate the
hate crime, Farah created a stick figure with needles for hands and feet and red dye for blood.
We look forward to 2019, which will be the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. We intend to
donate money to a planned march and will report on such next year.
Phil Zwickler Charitable & Memorial Foundation Trust