In 2010, the Belgian choreographer Alain Platel asked a number of older drag queens and trans cabaret artists if they wanted to perform onstage for one last time in his piece Gardenia, which became a global success. In the final show, this colorful group bids farewell to life in the spotlight and, most importantly of all, to one another. Once the tour is over they try to reshape their daily lives, and this documentary follows some of them: cleaning a brothel, conversing with pets, taking piano lessons. The film intercuts stylized shots from Gardenia with interviews in which the former performers talk about the choices they made, going against the grain of conventions in order to become themselves. The enormous contrast between their outrageous performances onstage and their vulnerability when the stage lights are dimmed offers some unsettling but multifaceted insight into this group of remarkable individuals. They attest to the desire to be themselves, to the courage to fight for that right, and to the fear of loneliness and physical decline. And they never give up their eternal search for love and happiness.
- Special Jury Prize - Hot Docs
- Thomas Wallner
- Eva Küpper
- Axel Schneppat
- Manfred Becker
- GEBRUEDER BEETZ FILMPRODUKTION GMBH
- SAVAGE FILM
Beautiful, poignant and honest.
Thomas Wallner, founder and owner of DEEP Inc. is a producer, writer, director and game designer working in feature film, television, games and interactive media. In addition to producing innovative cross-media properties for television, he has written and directed eight award-winning feature documentaries that have been broadcast in more than 30 countries.