The Most Anticipated Queer Documentaries from Tribeca

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“Tom of Finland”

While far from a documentary, the mysterious ToF biopic – high on everyone’s most-anticipated list – has been in the works for years. It was only this last December that we caught the first glimpse of a trailer, promising a colorful, beautifully tasteful rendering of the life of queer erotic portraitist Touko Laaksonen, who shaped the culture and iconography of gay illustrations in fashion. Think of him as a post-Stonewall J.C. Leyendecker, with a lot more beefcake. In Dome Karukoski’s telling of the ToF tale, Tom comes from Finland to the United States at the behest of a publisher, just in time to partake of LA at its Gayest.

Cultural Importance Rating: 4 Stars

Gay Rating: 4 Stars

“New Deep South”

Ever wonder what gay life is like in the deep south? For those of us who do (and are too terrified to find out firsthand,) the Jill Soloway-approved web series “New Deep South” offers a chance catch a glimpse of gay life in some of the reddest states out there. Each episode is a mini-documentary about young queer people in the south and the communities they create for each other in sometimes hostile, often culturally-rich southern communities.

Cultural Importance Rating: 4 stars

Gay Rating: 4 stars

“Whitney: Can I Be Me”

If you know who Nick Broomfield is, congratulations: You’re living your life right. If you don’t, get your hands on “Kurt & Courtney” and “Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer” immediately. This time, it’s Whitney Houston’s life and death that comes under Broomfield’s exploring lens. The self-destructive, tortured rise and fall of one of America’s most gifted singers (and gay icons) will be the subject of this documentary, and Broomfield is sure to leave no stone unturned.

Cultural Importance Rating: 4 stars

Gay Rating: 3 ½ stars

“Love the Sinner”

It’s almost been a year since the tragedy at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. In the wake of that gigantic shock to the gay community, Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir expose the role of religion and evangelical Christianity in creating the US’s current, often violently homophobic culture.

Cultural Importance Rating: 4 stars

Gay Rating: 4 stars

“The Godfather of Fitness”

The cool part is, Jack LaLanne was the first American to exalt and appreciate the muscular-fit male body in the ‘30s, creating the first chain of men’s health clubs and gyms across the country way before it was cool. The bodybuilder (from whom Arnold Schwarzenegger has claimed influence) and nutrition expert created a new, buff ideal for American men everywhere. The bad news is, he was kind of homophobic. Rade Popović explores this ironic contrast in his new documentary about LaLanne, “The Godfather of Fitness.”

Cultural Importance Rating: 3 stars

Gay Rating: 3 ½ stars



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