The early 1980s were a difficult time to be LGBTQ+. AIDS was considered a death sentence, gay people were frequently shunned by their families and bisexual men and women often let their same-sex attractions go unexplored.
Made in 1993, The Kiss on the Cliff is a deeply moving 21-minute short from accomplished director Reid Waterer. The film begins in 1983, in the small town of Rock Springs, Wyoming, with an attempted kiss between best friends Mark and Steve, played by Stephen Wolfe Smith and Tom Tarantini.
Their deep feeling for one another has sent ripples of tension through every aspect of their lives and forced both of them to question whether their desire is worth the risk.
Flashing forward ten years later, the two are reunited. Though they find that their lives have followed very different courses, their relationship still demands some kind of resolution.
Recently restored, The Kiss on the Cliff offers up a unique look at a different era in both gay life and gay indie cinema.