Smile Politely

Documentary on transgendered musicians at Unitarian Universalist Church

Film PosterDate: Friday, Jan. 28,
Doors: 6:30 p.m.; Screening: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Champaign-Urbana (Fellowship Hall)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Champaign-Urbana welcomes Chicago filmmakers Madsen Minax and Simon Strikeback to screen their feature-length documentary about transgender and gender-variant musicians. Riot Acts is a transfabulous rockumentary representing the multi-dimensional lives of transgender and gender variant musicians, through a first-hand perspective of the intersections between gender performance and stage performance, culminating with the notions that identities and bodies are undeniably political, and the trans experience isn’t always one of tragedy, but one of creativity and joy.

From the onset, Minax and Strikeback intended Riot Acts to directly counter the one-dimensional tragic transgender narrative found in both straight and gay mainstream cinema. From Trans America to The Crying Game, trans people are portrayed as isolated, secretive, asexual, and often end up dead. Riot Acts instead offers a true-to-life portrayal of trans people celebrated not for their “struggle” but for their talent as musicians. The artists speak honestly about the issues that matter most to them: stage presence, voice, politics, audience, and the life of a performer. As transpeople themselves, the producers seek to capture trans and gender variant identities as complexly as they are embodied and performed, both on and off the stage.

Snacks and Q & A to follow ― producers in attendance

For more information, please go here or email Simon Strikeback.


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