Out at Work

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Kelli Anderson

REVIEWED: 12-22-97

Co-directed and produced by Kelly Anderson and Tami Gold, Out at Work follows four years in the lives of three working-class gays: Cheryl, Ron, and Nat. Cheryl is fired from her job at the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain, along with 17 other employees, because she did not "comply with normal heterosexual values." Although usually apolitical, she joins Queer Nation Atlanta. Ron, an electrician for Chrysler in Detroit, is physically and verbally abused for months by fellow employees after being outed by a local newspaper; eventually he's chosen as a delegate to the UAW national convention. And Nat, a flamboyant Bronx librarian loved by his co-workers, faces appalling medical expenses and insurmountable debt when his companion is stricken with AIDS.

Out at Work premiered at Sundance and was selected as a finalist for PBS's Point of View series -- until it was axed amid controversy over "problematical" underwriting concerns. By turns shocking, depressing, and (ultimately) uplifting, this powerful documentary tells its stories of homophobia in the workplace with unabashed candor, and only a trace of sentimentality.

--Peg Aloi

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