Buy Tickets No Brattle Passes
Dir. Steve Clark Hall. 73 min. 2010 US
Especially relevant considering the current debate surrounding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Out of Annapolis is a riveting look at the lives of some of the U.S. Naval Academy’s lesbian and gay alumni.
Out of Annapolis tells the stories of eleven former sailors and Marines who attended Annapolis in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Through candid interviews, these former midshipmen discuss the reasons why they entered the Naval Academy (most wanted to serve their country and get an Ivy League-quality education) and the struggles they faced both while students and once they entered the fleet.
Some of these former officers entered the Academy knowing they were gay, while others didn’t discover that aspect of themselves until much later. A few had same-sex relationship while at the Academy, many waited until they were in the fleet to have their first same-sex sexual encounter. While some of these former midshipmen had careers spanning only a short while, others served for many years both before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” when gay witch-hunts were common, and after passage of the landmark legislation.
Director and subject Commander Steve Clark Hall, USN (Ret.), hits all the right notes for a powerful documentary, including sweepingly beautiful shots of the Annapolis campus and entertaining archival photos of all the subjects. What emerges is a remarkably intimate, incredibly positive portrait of the group’s experiences. Perhaps most fascinating for civilians is the final question: if you had a second chance, would you go to Annapolis again? (Description courtesy of Kate Carroll of Frameline: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.)