THE SONS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, tells the story of the gay men of New Orleans who created a vast and fantastic culture of wildly popular 'drag balls' starting in the late 1950s. These men ... See full summary »
THE SONS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, tells the story of the gay men of New Orleans who created a vast and fantastic culture of wildly popular 'drag balls' starting in the late 1950s. These men worked with the traditions of Mardi Gras to bring gay culture into public settings in the early 1960s. By 1969, there were four gay Mardi Gras clubs legally chartered by the state of Louisiana, throwing yearly extravaganzas at civic venues around the city. 'Society matrons begged for ball tickets from their hairdressers'. They succeeded in bringing down the 'Jim Crow' type laws that targeted gay people during this period, staging a flamboyant, costumed revolution without politics and won freedoms during a time, as now, when laws and people fought against them. Written by
A gay liberation documentary with universal appeal
Tim Wolff's documentary serves well to fill in some of the blanks in gay liberation history, and does so in a delightfully entertaining and often comical way, setting it apart from the norm. It also provides a little seen view of Carnival Krewe activities behind the scenes, and highlights traditions of costuming in extremes that are shared by many other New Orleans krewes and social aid and pleasure clubs. On a personal note, it records the lives and memories of many old friends and acquaintances who survived the AIDS epidemic of the 80's and 90's, as well as sharing stories of some of the more prominent members of the scene back then who succumbed during those painful years. Tim shines a poignant light of reverence, respect, and love on these early pioneers of gay liberation in the South. Well worth watching and has universal appeal, as do the now popular gay clubs of New Orleans.
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