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Bright Lights: Circus of Books with Director Rachel Mason

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Emerson Paramount Center

559 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02111

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Directed by Rachel Mason, documentary, English, 92 minutes, USA, 2019.

About this Event

All Bright Lights screenings are free and open to the pubic. Seating is on a first come basis, no tickets or RSVPs. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Co-presented as part of the Wicked Queer Film Festival with Boston Jewish Film and GlobeDocs.

In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Larry Flynt was seeking distributors for Hustler Magazine. What was expected to be a brief sideline led to their becoming fully immersed in the LGBT community as they took over a local store, Circus of Books. A decade later, they had become the biggest distributors of gay porn in the US. The film focuses on the double life they led, trying to maintain the balance of being parents at a time when LGBT culture was not yet accepted. Their many challenges included facing jail time for a federal obscenity prosecution and enabling their store to be a place of refuge at the height of the AIDS crisis. Circus of Books offers a rare glimpse into an untold chapter of queer history, and it is told through the lens of the owners’ own daughter, Rachel Mason, an artist, filmmaker, and musician. Discussion with director Rachel Mason to follow.

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Emerson Paramount Center

559 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02111

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