Strange Truth 2022

Strange Truth 2022

Strange Truth 2022 explores the non-fiction imagination in the films of Vivian Kleiman, CJ Hunt, Darcy McKinnon, and Marlon Riggs.

All events are free and open to the public and will be held at Bryn Mawr Film Institute or Haverford College’s VCAM building. Each will be followed by conversations with the artists.

This year’s series explores the history and power of queer comics, the successful campaign to remove confederate war monuments in New Orleans, and the legacy of groundbreaking filmmaker Marlon Riggs.

All events to be held at Bryn Mawr Film Institute or Haverford College’s VCAM building. Each will be followed by conversations with the artists.

Organized by Visual Studies faculty Vicky Funari and John Muse. Made possible by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities; VCAM Media & Makers Program; Bryn Mawr Film Institute; and the Visual Studies Program at Haverford College.

  • VCAM
  • Hurford Center
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

All events are open to the public.

Screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute are free for all Tri-Co students, staff, and faculty. Events at Haverford College are free to all.

Yellow Bus transportation provided from Stokes Hall (Haverford) to all screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI), departing Haverford at 6:30 p.m. and leaving BMFI for Stokes at 9:30 p.m

Contact: hcah [at]

Schedule of Events

2021, 1hr 28min (88 min)
Directed & produced by Vivian Kleiman

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Director Vivian Kleiman in person. Conversation moderated by Theresa Tensuan, Associate Dean at Haverford College.

Free Admission for Members of the Tri-College Community! Please write to jweissin [at] to receive your promo code.

The road for queer comics from the margins of the underground comics scene to mainstream acceptance was fraught with challenges. No Straight Lines chronicles the journeys of five scrappy LGBTQ artists — Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Mary Wings, Rupert Kinnard, and Jennifer Camper — from their early DIY work to the international stage, and offers a fascinating window into everything from the AIDS crisis to the search for love and a good haircut.

If ever there was a documentary subject that was long overdue, it would have to be that of LGBTQ+ cartoonists and comic book creators. Fortunately, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Vivian Kleiman saw fit to do so. —Gregg Shapiro, Bay Area Reporter

THE LEGACY OF MARLON RIGGS: Screening & conversation with Vivian Kleiman, Riggs’ creative collaborator
Directed by Marlon Riggs

Thursday, March 31, 2022
4:30–6:00 p.m.
VCAM-001 Screening Room
Haverford College

ANTHEM (1991) (9 min)

"Made at a time when Marlon Riggs was three years into living with HIV and the motto ‘Silence=Death’ was the queer community’s defiant response to the antigay policies of the Reagan era, this experimental music video employs a mix of poetry, African beats, and provocative imagery—sexual, political, and religious—in order to challenge and redefine prevailing images of Black masculinity." —Criterion Collection

TONGUES UNTIED (1989) (55 min)

"This radical blend of documentary and performance defies the stigmas surrounding Black gay sexuality in the belief that, as long as shame prevails, liberation cannot be possible. Through music and dance, words and poetry by such pathbreaking writers as Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam—and by turns candid, humorous, and heartbreaking interviews with queer African American men—Tongues Untied gives voice to what it means to live as an outsider in both a Black community rife with homophobia and a largely white gay subculture poisoned by racism." —Criterion Collection

2021, 1 hr, 23 min (83 min)
Directed by CJ Hunt; produced by Darcy McKinnon

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Director CJ Hunt and producer Darcy McKinnon in person. Conversation moderated by Monique Scott, Associate Professor of History of Art and Director of Museum Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

Free Admission for Members of the Tri-College Community! Please write to jweissin [at] to receive your promo code.

The Neutral Ground documents New Orleans’ fight over monuments and America’s troubled romance with the Lost Cause. In 2015, director CJ Hunt was filming the New Orleans City Council’s vote to remove four confederate monuments. But when that removal is halted by death threats, CJ sets out to understand why a losing army from 1865 still holds so much power in America.

The Neutral Ground neatly balances wry bemusement with a more sobering history of Louisiana and the South than many locals get in school. —Peter Debruge, Variety

Artists & Presenters

Image courtesy of Compadre Media Group

Vivian Kleiman

Vivian Kleiman is a veteran documentary filmmaker known for tackling challenging subjects and filmic approaches. She is the Executive Producer of the Academy Award nominated documentary short Last Day of Freedom. A longtime collaborator with landmark filmmaker Marlon Riggs, her credits include the critically acclaimed Tongues Untied, Color Adjustment, and Black Is… Black Ain’t. Along with Riggs, she garnered the George Foster Peabody Award, Organization of American Historians’ Eric Barnouw Award, and International Documentary Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She has 7 co-productions with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) for national PBS broadcast. Selected credits: executive producer of Julie Wyman’s Strong!, Deann Borshay Liem’s First Person Plural, and Vicky Funari’s Maquilápolis [city of factories]. As an educator, she served as Adjunct Faculty at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film & Video Production.

Marlon Riggs

Marlon Riggs (1957-1994) was a pioneering filmmaker, poet, educator, and activist. An early adopter of video technology, Riggs employed a bold mix of documentary, performance, poetry, and music to confront the devastating legacy of racist stereotypes, the impact of AIDS on his community, and the very definition of what it means to be Black. His films broke radical new ground in representations of race and sexuality and in the documentary genre. New generations of filmmakers and artists, particularly in the LGBTQ and Black communities, continue to engage with his work and look to Riggs as a guiding light. In 1987 Riggs completed his first professional feature documentary Ethnic Notions. An independently produced documentary, the film aired on public television stations throughout the United States. His 1989 film Tongues Untied was made, in Riggs’s own words, to “shatter the nation’s brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference.” This radical blend of documentary and performance defies the stigmas surrounding Black gay sexuality in the belief that, as long as shame prevails, liberation cannot be possible. In 1988 Riggs was diagnosed with HIV after undergoing treatment for near-fatal kidney failure at a hospital in Germany. His 1992 documentary Color Adjustment focused on the representation of African Americans in American television from Amos 'n' Andy to the Cosby Show. Despite his deteriorating health, Riggs continued to teach at Berkeley and make documentaries. Riggs died in 1994. In 2006 he was inducted into the NLGJA LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame.

CJ Hunt

CJ Hunt is a comedian and filmmaker living in NYC. He is currently a field producer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has also served as a staff writer for A&E's Black and White, and a field producer for BET's The Rundown with Robin Thede. Before working in late night, CJ spent nine years living in New Orleans where - in 2015 - he began filming what he thought would be a quick and easy confederate monument removal. CJ is an alumnus of Firelight Media's Doc Lab and New Orleans Film Festival's Emerging Voices program. He is also a 2020 New America Fellow and a regular host of The Moth. A graduate from Brown University's Africana Studies department, CJ is endlessly fascinated by race and comedy's ability to say what we can't. @gocjhunt.

Darcy McKinnon

Darcy McKinnon is a documentary filmmaker based in New Orleans. McKinnon's work in documentaries includes the films Maquilapolis, Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE!, “Animals” and The Neutral Ground with CJ Hunt. With a background in education and arts organization leadership, she produces documentary work that focuses on the American South, and is currently in mid-production on Commuted with Nailah Jefferson, and Katie Mathews’ Roleplay, a hybrid play/documentary about student artist responses to campus sexual assault. She also co-directed a doc short, “A Fine Girl,” with support from If/Then. McKinnon's work has been broadcast on POV, LPB and Cinemax, and her current projects have received support from SFFILM, CAAM, Chicken and Egg, Firelight Media, ITVS, Black Public Media, Sundance and Tribeca. Darcy is a co-founder of ALL Y'ALL, with Elaine McMillion Sheldon, an alum of the Impact Partners Producing Fellowship, and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2020 25 new faces in independent film.

Vicky Funari

Vicky Funari is a documentary filmmaker and educator. Her films include Maquilapolis (2006), a look at globalization through the eyes of Mexican factory workers; Paulina (1998), about a resilient woman who redefines herself after having been trafficked as a child; Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE! (2000), about the first strippers’ union in the US; and skin•es•the•si•a (1994), about gender codes in sex work and performance art. Her work has screened at Sundance, Locarno, Rotterdam, SXSW, Ambulante, Oberhausen, IDFA, and Tribeca, and has aired on PBS and the Sundance Channel. Funari is committed to co-creative processes with the people represented in her films, and to community co-designed impact campaigns. Her current project is Pool Stories (working title), a multiplatform documentary on healthy aging and ladies in a pool. Other work includes editor of Julie Wyman's Strong! (2012); producer of collaborative documentaries including Dizhsa Nabani (2018); and programmer of the Strange Truth series (2009-2021). She is Senior Lecturer of Visual Studies at Haverford College.

John Muse

John Muse writes criticism, makes experimental films, paintings, and installation works, and teaches visual studies at Haverford College.

Monique Scott

Monique Scott is an anthropologist with a career as both a scholar of museums and as a museum professional working within museums. After Monique Scott received her PhD in Anthropology from Yale University in 2004, she worked for more than ten years as head of cultural education at the American Museum of Natural History.

Monique specializes in how diverse museum visitors make meaning of race and culture in museums, particularly representations of Africa and people of African descent, the basis for her 2007 book Rethinking Evolution in the Museum: Envisioning African Origins. Her recent research focuses on the representation of Africa in Philadelphia museums, exploring the dense tension between African objects collected as art or artifact in some of the country’s oldest museums.

At Bryn Mawr College, Monique teaches on visual studies, Africana studies and museum anthropology; and uses Bryn Mawr’s robust collection of African objects to teach and curate campus exhibitions. Monique Scott is currently on the curatorial team responsible for the renovation of the Penn Museum African galleries; and in 2019, Monique co-curated the temporary exhibition at the Penn Institute of Contemporary Art “Colored People Time: Quotidian Pasts.” Monique is also a Consulting Scholar for the Africa Section at the Penn Museum, a Research Associate in Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and is on the African-American Collections Committee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Theresa Tensuan

As a teacher and scholar, Theresa Tensuan focuses on the interrelation between aesthetic formulations of subjectivity and practices of social transformation in the arenas of autobiography, visual culture studies, and in critical discourses concerning gender and race. She forges her work in conversation with disability rights activists and art historians as well as with literary theorists and visual artists. Her most recent work on comics, “Difference,” appears in the Eisner-nominated Comic Studies: A Guidebook (Rutgers 2020, ed. Charles Hatfield and Bart Beatty) and her work on comics has appeared in The Routledge Companion to Asian American and Pacific Island Literature, Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels, Biography, and Modern Fiction Studies. She teaches courses in Asian American literature, autobiography, graphic narratives, and Native American literature for the Writing Program at Haverford College where she is an Advising Dean.