The Sons of Tennesse Williams
By Tim Wolff
International Premiere Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:15pm
The Bell Light Box Cinema
The Sons of Tennessee Williams documents the story of the men in late 1950s New Orleans who brought the first drag balls to Mardi Gras and who paved the way for people's freedom to perform in the fabulous pomp and pageantry that is enjoyed today.
At a time when police raids on gay bars, violent hate crimes and public shaming of known homosexuals were commonplace behaviours, a handful of gay men pushed back against those systems of oppression by forming underground drag crews and hosting lavish secret balls. Originally conceived as a political send-up of their mainstream straight society counterparts, these drag crews persevered and eventually became a hallmark of modern Mardi Gras.
The Sons of Tennessee Williams interweaves powerful archival footage of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and the journey of drag balls with contemporary interviews with key players and historians. This tremendously rewarding film is entertaining, captivating and joyful in its celebration of one of the most valuable stories in gay history.
Director and special guests in attendance.
This program is rated 14A