The life of bisexual Oscar Wilde, focusing on his affection for young adult men and the consequences of his desire to fulfill his destiny, is passionately portrayed in the British film Wilde. Directed by Brian Gilbert, the film pits Oscar Wilde against the Marquess of Queensberry, whose son is devoted to Wilde. Vexed by slanderous accusations around London by the Marquess, Wilde responds to a written note, accusing him of being a “sodomite,” by filing a libel suit, whereupon much of his private life becomes a matter of court record. Since the court proceedings suggest the truth of the facts broadcast by the Marquess, Wilde loses the suit and next is charged with the criminal offense of indecent behavior. He receives the maximum sentence, two years of hard labor, which so overtaxes his strength that his life is greatly shortened, and the world is soon deprived of one of the greatest wits since Shakespeare. The film shows the folly of a homophobic morality that somehow arose in nineteenth century England despite the Biblical David and Jonathan, secular teachings of Socrates, and the flowering of the Renaissance superstars Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The film, of course, is more than a biography of one person but a paradigm of the struggle between proponents of malevolent hate and the polymorphous impulse to love–the way in which powerful but small-minded homophobes destroy the careers and shorten the lives of some of the greatest contributors to civilization. Oscar Wilde, in short, is portrayed as the first gay rights advocate. This is the first film of 1998 nominated in the category of HUMAN RIGHTS. MH