Home Entertainment Donna review – a tender love letter to a San Fran trans activist

Donna review – a tender love letter to a San Fran trans activist

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Trans activist and artist Donna Personna possesses appreciable private magnetism, and Jay Bedwani’s documentary makes a phenomenal love letter to this grandee of San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood. When lip-syncing on stage as a drag queen, Donna sashays throughout the room with the sensual gait of an outdated Hollywood film star, but there’s a candy abandon in how she loses herself within the lyrics. Like all nice lip-syncers, Donna performs as if nobody is watching, all of the whereas inviting the viewers to affix in her fantasy.

Out of her sequinned clothes, Donna is simply as charismatic. A go to to a medical workplace to get her listening to assist fitted – Donna is now in her 70s – sends each worker laughing together with her witty quips. Having co-written a play about the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, a pivotal but missed second of queer resistance in opposition to police brutality, Donna not solely bears witness to the historical past of trans activism but in addition nurtures the way forward for the motion, a mentor determine to younger trans ladies who’re discovering their very own voices.

This robustly inventive life, nevertheless, is a world away from Donna’s conservative upbringing in a Christian, Mexican family. Her verbal recollection of this difficult interval is so evocative that, at occasions, the accompanying visuals pale compared; a very poignant reminiscence, as an illustration, of a sexual encounter Donna had as a youngster is rendered underwhelmingly with closeups of a shirtless torso in a darkish motel room.

The movie actually comes alive when it merely lets Donna be the star of the present. From her spontaneous dancing within the streets to a shifting reunion together with her sister, her heat and vivacity in the direction of others distils the essence of LGBTQ+ solidarity.

Donna is launched on 15 July in cinemas and on Bohemia Euphoria.

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