The documentary “No Place Like Home: The Struggle Against Hate in Kansas,” directed by local filmmaker Kevin Willmott, is making its way around the area with a series of screenings. The film, narrated by the iconic Melissa Etheridge with an hour runtime, offers an unflinching look at the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in Kansas.
You may know the Oscar-winning director Willmott from his work with Spike Lee on the films “BlacKkKlansman” and “Chi-Raq.” Wilmott co-wrote those films with Lee and won an Oscar for his work on “BlacKkKlansman.” Wilmott, a Film and Media Studies Professor at the University of Kansas, has also several films including “C.S.A: Confederate States Of America” and “The Only Good Indian.”
Willmott is known for bringing a depth of understanding and empathy to his projects and consistently tackling societal issues with both nuance and urgency. The majority of Wilmott’s work focuses on Black subject matter, but in “No Place Like Home,” Willmott points his director’s lens at LGBTQ struggles in his conservative home state.
“Most of my films deal with the Black struggle in American history,” says Willmott. “This film allowed me to expand upon my belief that all these struggles have the same opponent — ignorance.”
The documentary is based on local journalist C.J. Janovy’s book, “No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas,” which was published in 2018.
“I wish the book didn’t need a sequel, but there’s no better person to pick up this part of the story than Kevin Willmott,” says Janovy.
Through intimate and compelling stories, the film underscores the arduous journey for acceptance and equality in Kansas.
“What’s happening in Kansas is playing out all over the country,” says Janovy. “I’m so grateful to the brave Kansans who speak up in No Place Like Home: The Struggle Against Hate in Kansas—everyday people who show so much more courage than the politicians who are willing to risk young people’s lives in their craven culture wars. The film is a powerful reminder of all the ways in which love wins.”
Upcoming Screenings of “No Place Like Home”
- Nov. 8: Univ. of Kansas Jayhawk Welcome Center, Alumni Building, Lawrence, 5:30 p.m.
- Nov. 12: Leavenworth Public Library, Leavenworth, Kansas, 4:30 p.m.
- Nov. 14: Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas City, KS, 12:30 p.m.
- Nov. 17: The St. Louis International Film Festival at 4 p.m.
Watch the Trailer Here: