Katherine Linton Director of "Follow My Voice"

by Yuki Keiser August 2007


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1. Searching for oneself

●Director: Katherine Linton
●2006, United States
●Distribution/Marketing in Japan: Uplink
●Release throughout Japan from September 22; includes showings at Tokyo's Cinema Rise X (03-3464-0051) and Osaka's Cinem@rt Shinsaibashi (06-6282-0815), among others.

For more information, see Uplink's site (Japanese) at www.uplink.co.jp/voiceofhedwig

Profile: Katherine Linton
Scriptwriter and producer for In the Life, a lesbian and gay TV news-magazine, since 1992. Involved in the production of TV programs on gender and sexuality, including The Out 100 (2006) and Lesbian Sex and Sexuality (2007). "Follow My Voice" is Linton's directorial debut.


John Cameron Mitchell, director of the international cult favorite "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the 2006 film "Shortbus", joined forces with record producer Chris Slusarenko and a cornucopia of renowned musicians to produce a charity album benefiting the Harvey Milk High School in New York*. Wig in a Box features covers from the movie "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" as performed by Sleater-Kinney, Cyndi Lauper, Yoko Ono, Yo La Tengo, and other iconic musicians hailing from a variety of genres. The album was without a doubt designed to gratify all fans of the epic musical film.   

 

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John Cameron Mitchell, and Yoko Ono, recording for the album
 
 
"Follow My Voice" accompanies Mitchell and the musicians from Wig in a Box for one year over the course of the recording process. In addition, this moving and masterful film also delicately imparts the stories of four students from Harvey Milk High School as they grapple with conflict, soul-searching, and their relationships with their families and the world around them.

Katherine Linton, director of "Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig", spoke about her latest work during her recent visit to Japan. Before all else, she began by saying, "Above all, the children are at the center of this film. What I wanted to show was what it's like to live as an outsider. I don't see this film as a gay film - I think it's a film for anyone who has ever tried to find who they are...in the same sense that we all try to discover who we are within the context of our families, schools, and society."

The director is herself an out lesbian. She explained that though she knew she was gay in high school, she was not able to come out until later. "There were no images of gay people in the media, so it was in a very scary time to think yourself as gay. College was the first time I ever met any other gay people and felt comfortable enough to come out."   
 

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Director Katherine Linton
  
 
Linton appeals to the fact that if she herself had been able to attend Harvey Milk High School in her youth, she would have most likely been able to come out at a younger age. "[We must not forget that the need for] Harvey Milk High School is a symptom of the problem. And the problem is that the society doesn't protect sexual minorities, schools don't protect them, and society that doesn't honor difference. So, there should be no need for a Harvey Milk High School. If we could fix society, and fix the problem, and foster more tolerance, then that's the solution - not more Harvey Milk High Schools."

One scene in Linton's documentary takes place on the first day of new student registration and shows anti-gay demonstrators gathered before the school while students walk in escorted by guards assigned to protect them. As the youth enter the school abusive words of hate pour from the crowd, imagery which paints a shocking picture of just how deep hatred against gay people runs in the United States sometimes. However, the documentary reveals an equally dense crowd of supporters who have come to drown out the bashing, heart-warmingly, with their applause and calls of encouragement.  
 

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Ben Kweller
  

 
*Harvey Milk High School became a fully accredited public school for LGBT youth in 2002 with the mission of providing a safe space for students to attend classes and study free from harassment. Harvey Milk was the first public school of its kind anywhere in the world, and is currently the largest.

 

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