PRIDE DIVIDE (1997) [Feature]

USA (MIFF 1998 , Documentaries)
Director: Paris Poirier

"Gay men and lesbians - a forced marriage if ever there was one," quips lesbian activist Torie Osborn. Such is the base from which this insightful documentary works. The relationship between men and women in the lesbian and gay community, race and politics make for an inflammatory cocktail. The film's premise is that, while maintaining a united front against intolerance on the outside, the queer community has shoved back into the closet many of its most contentious issues. At the heart of many of these are the very same conflicts in wider society.

Culling opinions from over one hundred women and men from nine major cities across the United States filmmaker Paris Poirier exposes shockingly blunt and surprisingly complex revelations. In New York they get serious with Go Fish filmmaker Rose Troche and historian Martin Duberman, chat with scientist Simon LeVay (who discovered the so-called 'gay gene'), and cross to San Francisco, where drag diva Joan Jett Blakk talks flippantly about sex and showbiz - Pride Divide never loses sight of the power of humour, if not to unite, then at least to cushion some of the blows.

Pride Divide begins the important task of bridging the chasm which has emerged between lesbians and gay men since their united struggle began. During the film's packed premiere in Seattle, men and women equally laughed, cheered, booed and hissed radically different segments of the film. Whatever reactions the film drums up, it's bound to cause debate into areas previously dumped in the too-hard-basket of queer culture. Miss Pride Divide and you'll miss what everyone's talking about.

"A brave, entertaining documentary which goes where gay-fest items haven't travelled before." - Variety

The team of director Paris Poirier and producer Karen Kiss previously made the now-classic 1993 documentary, Last Call at Maud's, about the closing of San Francisco's landmark lesbian bar.

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