New to DVD/VOD this week:
Hot Docs 2019
Rotterdam, RIDM, St Louis, NewFest, Inside Out
Four preteen drag performers are brought together for Montreal Pride.
Inspired by the more visible – and sanitized – version of drag popularized by RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE, younger fans have taken to dressing up themselves. Some have generated press and gained social media followings, while others are decidedly under the radar. Director Megan Wennberg profiles four such kids – Stephan and Nemis (both age 9) and Jason and Bracken (both 11) – hailing from Canada, the US, and Spain by way of the UK, and concocts an excuse to have them meet. The kids demonstrate minor points of interest – Bracken is a biological female performing femininity in a field dominated by males, Jason is from the Bible Belt – but, frankly, as performers, they’re only about as good as one would expect a preteen to be. Their parents are far more interesting, demonstrating refreshing support despite criticism. Still, the film struggles to sustain feature length, and is predicated on a manufactured premise – arranging for the disparate subjects to unite for a group performance in Montreal – making this a very surface treatment that sidesteps the more interesting questions raised about the appropriation of queer culture and the attempts to strip it of its radicalness, sexuality, and history.