Small Town Gay Bar

Schuyler says:

Ah, the wonders of Netflix Instant Browse.

This is a documentary film I wouldn’t rent with a ten-foot renting pole in any circumstance. However, as of yesterday I dutifully joinedbananas.gif Netflix (how can a film critic not be a member, no matter how large his DVD library?!), which offers almost all of their packages with a much smaller library of films available to watch streaming, online, in perfect quality on your computer. The people at Netflix don’t seem to understand that this customer has his computer hooked up to his brand new 32-inch HDTV, making his stream every bit as good as a mail-delivered DVD. Anyway…

This documentary is really, really great. As a male who is not gay, very often the experience of “the other” escapes me. How can I understand homosexuals as real people when I go to Boston College (after having attended an all-male Catholic Highschool)? How can I understand them when the only exposure to gays I have is a caricature expressed in films such as Party Monster or Brokeback Mountain (which will never, ever be reviewed on this website). Those instances aren’t real.

Imagine you’re gay (or pretend you are COTT’s very own James), and living in the deeeeeeep South. I don’t mean Richmond, Virginia. I mean places where living in a tiny makeshift shack is the town norm. A place where words like “Nigger” can be heard wherever there are two or more men gathered. I’ve made fun of Italy as being an intolerant place to have been, historically. Rome looks like the Mecca of tolerance when compared to the rural South.

Basically, being a gay man in this type of place means that you fear for your life every single day, even when still “in the closet.” Where dofannypack.jpg you go to be yourself? There’s no fucking Cheers for gays in Mississippi, I’ll tell you that.

This documentary follows several homosexuals, both men and females, as they go around to different small towns in ‘Sippi on a tour of the Gay-friendly bar offerings. This isn’t a tour of places where ppl are bf’ing in the next booth…that’s that caricature I mentioned earlier. Sometimes, I just want to go to a bar, get a Heineken, look around, maybe talk to a person or two, and go home. Gays want that too. But if they stroll into “Longhorns” or “Git-the-Hehl-owt! bar”, they’re going to get the shit kicked out of them for acting slightly flamboyent, or worse. It’s unsafe for gay-appearing individuals to go to a regular bar. For the more visible gay individual, it’s simply a deathwish.

The director of the documentary (KEVIN SMITH! ::worship::) does an excellent job sharing information, real-life experiences, and presenting the arguments of both sides (several ultra-radical gay-hate ministry groups are given an open microphone–they verbally hang themselves). If you’re a rational, educated human being, the argument isn’t even worth making. I felt it almost moving, and despite not sharing the ideology of the participants, I can empathize thanks to this film. Well worth seeing for anyone with a sympathetic heart.

This will be on the only non-mean-spirited review I ever do, so enjoy it, fuckers.

Grade: 91

PS: Unfortunately searching for pictures on Google with the terms “Gay Bar” wasn’t really working out, so I chose appropriate substitute pictures. Enjoy!

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