DIR: Jeffrey Schwarz • WRI: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver • PRO: Jon Glover, Lotti Pharriss Knowles, Lance Robertson, Jeffrey Schwarz • DOP: John Chater, John Davis, Dan DeJesus
David A. Ford, Marsha Kahm, Cameron MacDonald, James Mulryan, Elle Schneider, Steven Wacks, Clay Westervelt • ED: Phillip J. Bartell• MUS: Michael Cudahy • CAST: Divine, Michael Musto, Mark Payne
I Am Divine is a fascinating documentary about the life and times of drag queen idol ‘Divine’ (Glenn Milstead) and John Waters, the man who gave a platform to one of the most iconic homo-erotic actors of the 1970s and beyond.
I Am Divine is a no holds barred documentary which oozes colour, brilliant insight and fantastic interviews from absolutely everybody who was associated with Divine. It’s a film that shows the absolutely bizarre side of Divine and John Waters’ mind as a filmmaker whilst compassionately recounting the more touching and lighter side of Milstead’s life.
I’ll admit that I have never seen any of Divine’s or John Waters’ films in my life but it was incredible to be shown footage of some of the most depraved and wilder side of film that nearly had me heaving in my seat. Fans of the film Pink Flamingos will certainly attest to where I’m coming from there.
It’s easy for documentarians to sway their opinion of various people and to show them in nothing but a radiant glow of positivity, however, no aspect of Divine’s life is left unturned. From coming out, to being disowned by his parents, the fame and popularity of one of the most iconic gay people of the time and from Divine’s personal problems of overeating and overspending.
It’s a tale of great humour and great sadness with heartfelt interviews from family members, fans and close friends. As I’ve mentioned before, despite never knowing who Divine was before sitting down to watch the film, it felt like I had known and seen this person on screen a million times.
It really is incredible how director Jeffrey Schwarz fits absolutely everything into 90 minutes and yet it also leaves the audience wanting to know more about this person. From the underground to the mainstream with fan favourite, Hairspray, this is a documentary that really gives light to a once under-rated actor to cult hero with rare footage and interviews. It’s a documentary that is simply Divine.
12A (See IFCO for details)
I Am Divine is released on 18th July 2014