How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.
As far as biographical documentaries go, I Am Divine was pretty standard, starting at the beginning of Divine/Glenn Milstead's life and concluding at its end. There usage of archival footage of Divine both in and out of costume was excellent, while the interviews of his close friends and family were very thorough. I found that the talking heads, rather than being too distracting, served to really painted a comprehensive picture of who Divine was. Though the documentary did touch on the issues that Divine faced throughout his life, such as his initial financial struggles, I would have liked to see the movie address them with more depth. However, on the other hand, I think that it's pretty understandable because I Am Divine was clearly meant to be a celebration of an influential figure's life.
I'm glad that I watched this movie. I learned quite a lot about someone who turned out to be enormously influential. Divine had huge hand in shaping current-day drag culture from the prim, debonair queens of the 50s-60s to the loud and colorful drag performers we are familiar with today. I would have loved to see them explore Divine's contemporary impact more in the movie, but alas. I Am Divine could have so easily veered into something that was offensive and mocking, but it stayed so respectful to Divine and who he was as a person. Watch this movie!!
- Feb 2, 2016