The Gentleman Bank Robber: The Story of Butch Lesbian Freedom Fighter rita bo brown

The Gentleman Bank Robber: The Story of Butch Lesbian Freedom Fighter rita bo brown
digital video, USA, 47 minutes, 2017

Short Description: The story of rita bo brown, a working-class butch from rural Oregon, an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, ex-prisoner and member of the militant, underground George Jackson Brigade, active in the 1970s in the Pacific Northwest.

Long Description: The Gentleman Bank Robber is a portrait of revolutionary rita bo brown, a white working class butch from rural Oregon who became known as “The Gentleman Bank Robber” in the 1970s for combining her butch style of dress with a polite way of demanding funds from bank tellers. The film moves between everyday moments with bo in and around her current home in Oakland, California, and historical retelling of the events of bo’s extraordinary life through interviews with bo and her collaborators, archival materials, and rare social movement ephemera. The Gentleman Bank Robber weaves together personal and political perspectives on 20th century social movement histories, including queer liberation in the 1960s; militant, underground activity with the George Jackson Brigade in the 1970s, a revolutionary prison abolitionist group; political prisoner support work in the 1980s, and prison activist work into the present day. bo brown is a model for how to lead a life of committed activism while maintaining a sense of humor and humanity.


Watch the Trailer

Music in trailer by Lisa Schonberg.


Gentleman Bank Robber Screenings

Prisoner Letter Writing + Film Screening
Wednesday / July 11, 2018 / 6:00pm-9:00pm
Columbus, Ohio

Monkey Wrench Books
Monday / June 11, 2018 / 7:30pm
Austin, Texas

Prisoner Letter Writing & Film Screening
Monday / June 11, 2018 / 6:00pm-8:00pm
Jefferson County Library
Port Hadlock, Washington
 
Wednesday / June 6, 2018 / 6:00pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Highline College
Friday / April 27, 2018 / 10:00am
Des Moines, Washington
George Jackson Brigade members Ed Mead, Janine Bertram and film director Julie Perini in attendance

Global Justice Center
Co-sponsored by Tucson SURJ, Tucson ABC, Pan Left Productions, The Gloo Factory
Monday / April 16, 2018 / 7:00pm
Tucson, Arizona
Director Julie Perini in attendance

University of North Carolina: Asheville
presented by the Tranzmission Prison Project & Blue Ridge ABC as part of the UNCA Queer Studies Conference entitled "Prisons, Borders, and Pipelines: Toward a Queer Abolitionist Movement"
Saturday / April 7, 2018 / 7:30pm
Asheville, North Carolina

Civic Media Center
Monday / March 12, 2018 / 7:00pm
Gainesville, Florida

Milwaukee Public Library
presented by the Milwaukee IWW
Monday / March 12, 2018 / 6:00pm
Milwaukee, WI

Hollywood Theatre
Friday / March 9, 2018 / 7:30pm
Portland, Oregon

QPIRG Concordia
Friday / March 9, 2018 / 7:00pm
Quebec, Montreal

SubRosa Community Space
Saturday / March 3, 2018 / 7:00pm
Santa Cruz, California

The Pinhook
Wednesday / February 28, 2018 / 8:00pm
Durham, North Carolina

Northwest Film Forum
Sunday / February 18, 2018 / 7:30pm
Seattle, Washington
George Jackson Brigade members Ed Mead, Mark Cook, Janine Bertram in attendance

Rawlings Public Library
in conjunction with unstoppable, a publication by and for incarcerated people who identify as women, gendervariant, and/or trans
Thursday / January 25, 2018
Pueblo, Colorado

Burning Books
presented by the Buffalo Committee Against State Repression
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Buffalo, NY

Cafe Europa
in conjunction with unstoppablea publication by and for incarcerated people who identify as women, gendervariant, and/or trans
Friday / January 5, 2018
Denver, Colorado

Northwest Filmmakers Festival
Gentleman Bank Robber
 premiere
Thursday / November 2, 2017 / 5:30pm
Portland, Oregon
Julie Perini in attendance


Press

Willamette Weekend: Lorde, A Movie About Polite Lesbian Bank Robbers...
Wilamette Week, March 9, 2018 (online version)

Willamette Week: Lorde, A Movie About Polite Lesbian Bank Robbers...
Wilamette Week, March 6, 2018 (print version)
"Where we'll be singing about adultery and watching lesbians politely rob banks this week."

OPB Interview with Julie Perini about The Gentleman Bank Robber
Think Out Loud, Oregon Public Broadcasting, March 8, 2018

The Gentleman Bank Robber
The Portland Mercury, March 7-13, 2018
"Director Julie Perini's profile of rita bo brown, current Oakland, California resident and former Oregon bank robber, whose notable personal history doesn't just include politely and unassumingly liberating cash from various local financial institutions, but also contributions to queer liberation movements in the '60s and '70s, and prison activism in the '80s. Director in attendance; part of the Hollywood Theatre's Feminist March Film Series."

44th Northwest Filmmakers Festival focuses on social issues, misfits, and more
by Marc Mohan, The Oregonian, November 2, 2017

Oct. 23, 2017: Julie Perini & Northwest Filmmakers Festival Director Ben Popp were on TV!


If you would like to organize a screening or have other questions:

Email gentlemanbankrobber@gmail.com / Closed captioning is available.


Support bo brown

In the summer of 2016, bo was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dimentia, a terminal neurodegenerative disease. As of October 2017, bo's community is raising funds to support her in-home medical care. Donate to the Bo Brown, Forever Activist, Forever Survivor fundraising campaign here.


The Gentleman Bank Robber: The Story of Butch Lesbian Freedom Fighter rita bo brown
digital video, USA, 47 minutes, 2017

directed by & cinematography by Julie Perini
research & interviewing done with Lydia Bartholow & Erin McNamara
edited by Julie Perini
assistant editors: Lydia Bartholow, Erin McNamara, Erin Yanke & Anna Swanson
music by Marisa Anderson & Lisa Schonberg
archival research & production assistance by Riley King
graphic design by James Casey
type consultation: Briar Levit
Thank you: Jamie Dawson, Kat Enyeart, Lily-Rygh Glen, Ben Popp
Funded by a 2017 Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, an Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Award, a Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Award,  and a community of Kickstarter backers.


We shot over 30 hours of oral-history style interviews with bo brown, her collaborators and community members. All of this media will be available at the Freedom Archives in San Francisco in 2018.