Against the Law

This somber BBC production, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 British law decriminalizing homosexuality, intercuts eyewitness accounts from grizzled survivors of homophobia in postwar England with a dramatic treatment of the life of journalist and activist Peter Wildeblood. Openly gay, Wildeblood (Daniel Mays) is imprisoned in the mid-1950s for his affair with an RAF corporal (Richard Gadd); their tender, erotic, and necessarily secret encounters make the corporal’s betrayal in court all the more devastating. In a later scene Wildeblood, now freed, testifies on behalf of legal rights for homosexuals but excludes “effeminate men” from his crusade—a particularly chilling moment when you consider that the UK’s last antigay laws weren’t repealed until 2009. Fergus O’Brien directed.