Coming to theatres this Friday, October 25: I AM DIVINE
Jeffrey Schwarz’s loving tribute to Harris Glenn Milstead AKA Divine made its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year. Its extensive festival run has included several LGBT fests (including London, Tampa, Miami, Boston, Inside Out, Tel Aviv, Frameline, and Outfest), New Orleans’ Film-O-Rama, Cleveland, Florida, Nashville, DOXA, Sheffield, Sydney, Provincetown, Durban, and Melbourne, among many others.
Divine was John Waters’ muse, described by the King of Bad Taste as “the most beautiful woman in the world, almost,” and starred in his films until the performer’s early death in 1988. Still notorious for the infamous last scene at the end of PINK FLAMINGOS, a film predicated on a contest to determine “the filthiest person alive,” Divine has maintained cult celebrity status more than two decades after his death. Schwarz, who has previously lauded other outsized personalities from film history, such as horror director William Castle in SPINE TINGLER!, pornstar Jack Wrangler in WRANGLER, and LGBT film historian and activist Vito Russo in VITO, tells the performer’s definitive story, revealing how a boy who was bullied as an overweight sissy in high school found a family of like-minded outsiders among Baltimore’s countercultural scene of the 1960s, including nascent filmmaker Waters, who gave him his famed Genet-inspired sobriquet, and launched the inimitable Divine into unlikely stardom. Featuring interviews with friends like Waters and co-stars Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, and Tab Hunter, Schwarz’s film goes beyond the shock tactics of Divine’s stage persona to reveal the man beneath the makeup.