Taking a Chance on God

Taking a Chance on God

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

4:00 pm | $10 | 54 minutes | NR | Documentary, Biography, History
Advance tickets: http://takingachanceongod.bpt.me
Q&A with the filmmakers post-screening

This film highlights John McNeill’s role as hero and pioneer of the international LGBT civil rights movement. An inspiring portrait, the film follows the extraordinary life of 86-year-old John McNeill from his Buffalo, NY boyhood through his experiences as a POW in Nazi Germany, Vietnam peace promoter along with leaders like Daniel Berrigan, leading gay rights advocate, and loving partner of 48 years to Charles Chiarelli. McNeill, the author of groundbreaking works of gay spirituality, founder of the LGBT Catholic group Dignity/New York, and a gay community leader during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, refused to be silenced by the Vatican on LGBT issues, which resulted in his expulsion from the priesthood. Chronicling McNeill’s love for the Catholic Church, the LGBT community, his Jesuit brothers, and his partner, ‘Taking a Chance on God’ is a powerful story of faith, love and perseverance in the face of oppression and rejection.

This Rosendale screening is being sponsored by the Kingston LGBTQ Community Center which was founded by Ginny Apuzzo who also appears in the film. Other people who appear in the film include the Bishop Gene Robinson, Kate Clinton, Andy Humm, and many other notable leaders in the gay rights movement.

The director Brendan Fay, is the founder of the St. Pats For All Parade in NYC, an all-inclusive parade which has grown to thousands of participants in the past 15 years. He is an Irish immigrant activist who has lead the movement for marriage equality resulting in the landmark decision which overturned DOMA. As a filmmaker Brendan was associate Producer of the Saint of 9/11 a moving tribute to Mychal Judge, NYC Fire Dept. Chaplain who was killed at the World Trade Center.

Ilene Cutler, local filmmaker and photographer co-produced and co-edited this film. As she stated in an interview after the Woodstock Film Festival premiere, “If one life is affected by this work, then it has been worthwhile. John’s message of love and respect can literally save lives.”

Co-writer and co-editor Dan Messina is an accomplished filmmaker as well. His film The Other Parade has been seen in numerous film festivals. He is currently working on a documentary about Pete Seeger and the Sloop Clearwater.
Peter Wetzler, local musician and composer, created the magnificent score for this film. Peter’s talented work has been showcased internationally in television, film, recordings and live performance.