The new documentary “The Lavender Scare” played to a strongly positive response at our Hearst Movie &A Martini screening at the Bethel Cinema.

The event was co-sponsored by the FilmFest52 series at the theater in which new independent films, documentaries and short films are screened weekly. The film’s director, Josh Howard, was on hand for a question-and-answer session.

Much of the audience of 72 patrons stayed for a sometimes intense discussion with the filmmaker. One woman shared a harrowing story of the bullying faced by her gay high school student son. To get an idea of what he was facing, the mother asked her son to make a mark on a card for every time he was harassed one day. He came home with 46 checks.

The movie examines a largely forgotten piece of recent American history — the war that President Dwight Eisenhower declared in 1953 on gay men and lesbians working for the government.

 

jmeyers@hearstmediact.com;

Twitter: @joesview