The Roving Eye Film Festival is this sort of anything goes collaboration between the Rhode Island International Film Festival and Roger Williams University, and this year’s programming includes a live production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, a screening of Vertigo, several days’ worth of Jewish short films, and an inexplicable keynote by dreadful New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, who rightfully should have lost all respect around the time that he live tweeted a brothel raid. Or the time he published the name of a child rape victim. Or for his repeated promotion of fraudulent foundations… well, it goes on. Go read this if you want.
To counterbalance that nonsense, it’s probably nice that the festival is showing Check It, a documentary about a Washington DC-based street gang composed entirely of gay and trans youth, many of whom are themselves involved in sex work. [Note: I haven’t actually seen it yet so this is mostly conjecture based on other people’s reviews and one interview with the directors.] Set on the grim streets of the nation’s capitol, the film looks at teenagers who relatives are lost to incarceration and addiction, who have been rejected by parents and by churches, and who perform sex work becase their prospects for less dangerous employment are essentially zero. Numbering over two hundred, the gang members aren’t afraid to fight or pull out their weapons. Filmmakers Dana Flor and Joshua Oppenheimer spent two years following the Check It around while making the movie, and Flor will be on hand afterwards for a Q&A. The screening takes place in CAS 157.