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

in-progress, digital video
directed & shot by Julie Perini
research & interviewing done with Lydia Bartholow & Erin McNamara
editing by Julie Perini & Erin Yanke
music by Marisa Anderson
graphic design by Kat Enyeart
archival research & production assistance by Riley King
Trailer sound by Lisa Schonberg
Gentleman Bank Robber site
Email us for more information.

The life story of rita bo brown is not one story but many stories.  It is the story of a white, working class Butch growing up in rural Oregon in the 1950s, joining struggles for queer liberation in the 1960s and 1970s.  It is the story of a former prisoner now organizing to support other people in prison through her work with the Prison Activist Resource Center in Oakland, California.  It is the story of a member of the George Jackson Brigade, a militant, revolutionary, prison abolitionist group based in Seattle, Washington in the 1970s.  As a member of the George Jackson Brigade, bo became known as "The Gentleman Bank Robber" for combining her butch style of dress with a polite way of demanding funds from bank tellers, one of the ways the Brigade funded its militant activities to protest military aggression, injustice, and exploitation in the United States and around the world. This documentary tells all of these stories and more, through interviews with bo herself, her friends and collaborators, and others inspired by her life’s work.

Funded by the Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Award, and a community of Kickstarter backers.

Sound in video by Lisa Schonberg.