Doc looks at LGBT struggles, successes in Winnipeg
IF any film deserves to be a centrepiece of this year’s LGBT-focused Reel Pride Film Festival, it’s One Gay City: A History of LGBT Life in Winnipeg, an MTS Stories from Home documentary getting its world première next Saturday at 4 p.m.
In a little over one hour, the doc by Aaron Florescu offers a neat summary of gay life and progress in Winnipeg from the early 1960s to today. The film is not quite comprehensive enough to include information from, say, the early half of the 20th century, let alone prior to that. But what there is makes for one of the more important docs to come from the MTS Stories from Home banner. The bulk of Florescu’s most dramatic material comes from the 1970s and ’80s, encompassing the rise of the gay rights movement, and the great leap forward represented by the election of Glen Murray as mayor of Winnipeg in 1996 — at that time the first openly gay mayor of a large North American city. The title is somewhat ironic given that, in the ’70s and ’80s, gay locals departed Winnipeg in large numbers for the livelier gay scenes in cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. But in Winnipeg, as the doc demonstrates, the scene was heating up on the political front (activists Chris Vogel and Richard North put gay marriage on the national agenda as early as is the kind of film that promotes dialogue.” Also on Reel Pride’s 2014 program: Appropriate Behavior (Tuesday at 9 p.m.) A young woman struggles to be a good Persian daughter, a hip Brooklynite and a politically correct bisexual, learning the hard way that it’s impossible to be all three. Tiger Orange (Thursday at 9 p.m.) Two brothers are reunited in their small town. Both are gay, but where one has stayed closeted while working in their dad’s hardware store, the other has moved to L.A. and embraced a more confrontational, unashamedly sexual lifestyle. BFFS (Friday at 7 p.m.) In this comedy, two platonic girlfriends take advantage of a weekend couple’s retreat by passing themselves off as lesbian, only to discover the experience is causing them to reevaluate their relationship. Eat With Me (Friday at 9 p.m.) A Chinese-American mom leaves her husband and moves into the loft of her gay son, a chef having his own troubles with his relationship with his lover. This dramedy replaces the previously scheduled John LithgowAlfred Molina comedy film Love Is Strange, which was pulled from the schedule, Plamondon says, due to “distributor issues.” Tru Love (Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.) Bed-hopping lesbian Tru, 37, is asked to babysit Alice, the 60-year-old widowed mom of a friend, only to face the fact their relationship is becoming something more than anyone anticipated.
The full program is at reelppride.org.