Doc/Fest 2017 Review: Queerama
Doc/Fest 2017 set the city alive with an opening night to be proud of. It was an event celebrating something that this city is really good at: tolerance and acceptance. It’s 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised, and just typing those words fills me with incredulity that it should ever have been regarded as anything else other than another facet of human existence. Sadly though, we only need to look around us to see how attitudes and even laws still have a lot of catching up to do. The film, Queerama, was a compilation of found footage, reflecting how the ‘queer’ world was once viewed, and how what we would now call the LGBTI+ community saw themselves. There were some very courageous people in the film, and excerpts from a 1964 documentary were extraordinary. Being openly being gay three years before it was decriminalised was fraught with real danger, and the people interviewed were often filmed so as to not be identifiable. It takes us back to a shameful past, and I was left less with a feeling of relief that those times were over and more with a sense of shame. The impact of the film was all the greater with the addition of the music of John Grant, Goldfrapp, Hercules and Love Affair. Grant himself was there to play a few songs at the end, which was a treat for me as I’ve not seen him perform here since he was a support act at the Leadmill. The after party in the Ballroom continued the celebrations, to round off another triumphant opening Docfest night.