The Lavender Scare


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sun, Sep 22, 2019 7:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Documentary Feature
Release Year:2017
Run Time:75 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Josh Howard
Cast:Glenn Close, Narrator
David Hyde Pierce (voice)
Cynthia Nixon (voice)
Zachary Quinto (voice)
T.R. Knight (voice)


The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to partner with Unify Sedona: A Rainbow Alliance and PFLAG Sedona/Verde Valley to present the premiere of “The Lavender Scare” on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

Come early for a pre-film reception hosted by Unify Sedona, and stay after the film for a Q&A and community conversation.

“The Lavender Scare” is narrated by Glenn Close and features the voices of an all-star ensemble cast, including David Hyde Pierce, Cynthia Nixon, Zachary Quinto and T.R. Knight.

With the United States gripped in the panic of the 1950s Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower deemed homosexuals to be “security risks” and vowed to rid the federal government of all employees discovered to be gay or lesbian.

Over the next four decades, the longest witch-hunt in American history, tens of thousands of government workers would lose their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation.

But the mass firings have an unintended effect: they stirred outrage in the gay community, helped ignite the gay rights movement, and thrust an unlikely hero into the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement.

Partly based on the award-winning book by historian David K. Johnson, “The Lavender Scare” illuminates a little-known chapter of American history, and serves as a timely reminder of the value of vigilance and social action when civil liberties are under attack.

“I am grateful to the men and women who shared their personal stories on camera — not just the employees who lost their jobs, but the officials who carried out the government’s policies as well. Without their honest and thoughtful insights, this film could never have been made,” said director Josh Howard.

"A gripping, nimbly assembled documentary … vivid, disturbing and rousing." — Los Angeles Times

"Fascinating and horrifying — and timely." — The New York Times

“An essential and absorbing documentary." — Variety

"A film that should be essential viewing." — The Hollywood Reporter

This special Sedona premiere of “The Lavender Scare” is co-presented by Unify Sedona: A Rainbow Alliance and PFLAG Sedona/Verde Valley. There will be a community discussion and Q&A following the screening. You are invited to come early for a pre-film reception in the theatre courtyard.