"COMMIES, COLOREDS, AND QUEERS”: The Stormy Voyage of the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union
, tells the inspiring, ultimately tragic tale of resistance by a radical coalition of workers, oppressed because of their sexuality, race, and political convictions. On merchant ships and luxury liners, in port cities around the Pacific Rim, members of the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union fought heroically against the most powerful conservative forces in mid-twentieth-century America, only to be crushed, swept aside, and forgotten. From the Emmy-winning team behind “Screaming Queens,” this feature length story of a stormy, unfinished voyage towards dignity, equality, and social justice will resonate deeply in today's troubled political climate.
Victor Silverman is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker, historian and author. An internationally-recognized scholar and the recipient of prestigious fellowships and grants, Professor Silverman is the author of numerous books and articles. His films have screened on national and international television and in hundreds of film festivals, universities and community events around the world.
His current film project is “Commies, Coloreds, and Queers”: The Stormy Voyage of the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union” which is in development. His last film, “Getting High,” (2017) is a provocative, feature-length documentary about his family’s collision with drugs and alcohol set against a backdrop of our society’s bitter conflicts about the “War on Drugs.” Professor Silverman directed, produced and wrote with Susan Stryker the Emmy-winning film “Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria,” about the night in 1966 when trans women and drag queens fought back against police violence in San Francisco's tough Tenderloin neighborhood.
Professor Silverman is the author of three books—plus an in-progress manuscript co-authored with Pomona Professor Miguel Tinker Salas: Trumplandia: The US and Latin America in the Age of Smoke and Mirrors which examines law and social networks in US interventions in the Americas. His other works include California: On the Road Histories (with poet Laurie Glover); Los Angeles Times Front Pageand Imagining Internationalism.
He is often quoted in the press for his expertise in politics and history and his scholarly work encompasses a diversity of topics including U.S., international politics, labor, Jewish, queer and environmental history. He has particular expertise in the past and present of U.S. foreign relations, global institutions and world social movements. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990 and has taught at universities in the U.S. and China.
Silverman has worked as union organizer and consulted with the international labor movement on sustainable development policy. He is a former radio public service and dramatic program producer and writer for KPFA, Berkeley and KRRC in Portland. He authored several plays and screenplays, including a stage adaptation of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” which he directed. He also has been an actor, dancer, construction laborer and plumber.
Original Story Writer, Allan Bérubé was one of the foremost historians of the gay and lesbian experience in the US. His book Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II (1990) won the Lambda literary award and was later turned in a Peabody Award–winning documentary film (Arthur Dong, director, 1994). Although he never graduated from college, he was one of the founders of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco and played a critical role in the development of LGBTQ studies with his writings, slide shows, and community history activism. Bérubé received widespread recognition for his pioneering work including a yearlong fellowship at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS ) at the City University of New York and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.
Producer, Mimi (Kim) Klausner brings extensive documentary and non-profit experience. Her first documentary film was “Choosing Children” (1985, Red Ribbon, American Film Festival, First Prize, National Educational Film Festival). She was the Consulting Producer of “It’s Elementary – Talking About Gay Issues in School” (1996, CINE Golden Eagle, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary) and the Executive Producer of “Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight” (2009, Outfest Audience Award, Documentary Feature). Klausner also has decades of expertise in nonprofit business management, budgeting and grant writing. She served as Business Manager for Mother Jones Magazine (1986 to 1988) and Brava Theater Center (1996 to 1999). She has worked as a Multimedia Archivist (University of California, San Francisco (2004 to 2006), as the Library and Archives Director at the GLBT Historical Society (2000 to 2003) and the Visual Media Archivist at the Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco (2003 to 2004).
Producer, Susan Stryker won an Emmy Award for “Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria” (ITVS/Frameline 2005), which she produced, directed, and wrote with Victor Silverman. She co-produced the OUTFest Audience Award-Winning “Forever's Gonna Start Tonight” (2009) with director Michelle Lawler and executive producer Mimi Klausner, and was a consulting producer on Rhys Ernst's GLAAD Media Award-winning mini-documentary web series “We've Been Around” (Nonesuch 2016). A leading authority on transgender history, she is the author of many articles and several books on transgender and queer topics, most recently Transgender History (2008). She won a Lambda Literary Award for the anthology The Transgender Studies Reader (with Stephen Whittle, 2006). Stryker has consulted on a variety of transgender-focused media projects, including the Academy Award-winning feature film “The Danish Girl” (Focus Features 2015) and the Golden Globe-winning Amazon Prime series “Transparent.” She is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, where she served for five years as Director of the University's Institute for LGBT Studies (2011-2016).