Title: Uncle Bob
Publisher: Jericho Books, New York
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures
Length: 78 minutes
Available: Amazon.Com, Amazon.Ca and Wolfe Video
To understand the important people in this video, it is necessary to distinguish between the two men who have almost exactly the same name. Gay rights activist Robert Opel changed his last name, choosing to spell his last name with one letter p, and his nephew, the producer of Uncle Bob, Robert Oppel spells his last name with two letter p's. In an effort to help distinguish between the two men, in this review the role of each man will provided.
Uncle Bob is a documentary about activist Robert Opel, a man who became famous when he streaked at the Academy Awards. In an effort to understand why his uncle, a gay rights activist, was murdered, Robert Oppel made the documentary Uncle Bob. While researching the documentary, producer Robert Oppel read his uncles journals and interviewed people who knew his uncle and who lived in San Francisco during the time period when activist Robert Opel was murdered.
Robert Opel, the gay rights activist, was planning on giving a theatrical performance about the murder of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, a San Francisco Supervisor, and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. According to the documentary, the authorities requested that activist Robert Opel not perform the play, indicating that he would be killed if he performed the theatre art. Activist Robert Opel's murder caused another wave of fear to go through the gay community. Other gay activists in San Francisco feared that their names were on a list of activists to be murdered. After activist Robert Opel was murdered, a few prominent San Francisco activists went into hiding for a short period of time.
The documentary presents two theories about activist Robert Opel's murder. One theory is that the murder was due to drug deal and the other theory is that the police may have had some involvement in the murder.
Homophobia appears to have very real in San Francisco in the time period when activist Robert Opel was murdered. According to documentary, the boxes in which the police stored the murder evidence and personal belongings of Robert Oppel were labeled homocide instead of homicide.
The documentary states that the man convicted of activist Robert Opel's murder was willing to be interviewed by he producer. Three requests by producer Robert Oppel to interview the convicted murderer were denied by officials in the penal system. The documentary provides no real answers about the murder, leaving us wondering why activist Robert Oppel was murdered.
This is no ordinary documentary. Uncle Bob is an interesting documentary that combines artistic and theatrical expression, interviews and research. Uncle Bob provides interesting insights into a turbulent period of the American gay rights movement.
The documentary has film strips of Robert Opel streaking and photos and artistic representations of naked people or of people with their genitals exposed.