"Taboo Yardies is such a timely and relevant documentary that will become a part of the rational discourse towards the rights afforded to human beings being able to be themselves without judgment or vitriol. I was most riveted from the beginning to the end of the film."-Bruce George, Co-Founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam (HBO)
"It is crucial to watch Taboo Yardies for those who want to understand the problem of violence against gay and lesbian people in Jamaica. This is a thoughtful, well-balanced, entertaining and finely layered examination of this topic. Selena Blake has filmed a must-watch documentary that should be seen by everyone. Only through the education provided in Taboo Yardies can we overcome the fear and foreboding surrounding this issue, and end the wanton violence."-Wayne Besen, Founder and Executive Director –Truth Wins Out
Since 1999 we have received hundreds of submissions of films to be screened in our series. We only select the best for screening; films that invoke passion, shed important information, or touch our audience in a particular way. We have screened over 100 films as a part of the 'Film & Cultures Series' at Medgar Evers College and no film brought forth the type of deeply personal and emotional conversation that the film Taboo Yardies created. A single film can not answer all the questions or address every issue, but this film challenges how some people relate to each other as humans on many levels. –Miles McAfee, Producer of the 'Film & Culture Series'
Meanwhile It took four years, cost her friends and family and almost the roof over her head, but Queens based documentary filmmaker Selena Blake got her latest project done.
The film, “Taboo Yardies,” about homophobia in Jamaica, West Indies, and its costs to the island nation, is well worth the wait.
It’s a powerful collection of haunting images, each more powerful, and memorable, than the last: the anger in the voices of two pre-teen boys lounging on the steps of a darkened house as they disdainfully assert that gay men should be stoned; the middle-aged man who describes how he, newly arrived in New York, saw two men kissing near Penn Station and his amazement when his brother stopped him from looking for a brick to throw at them, saying “they don’t do that here.”
There is the painful story of a lesbian who tearfully tells how she has been the victim of “corrective rapes,” by men who believe such attacks will make her heterosexual. Police refuse to help her, so she in her anguish has taken to cutting herself and attempted suicide, the latticework of healed scars on her forearm visible proof of her efforts.