A host of queer-themed documentaries are coming to streaming services and theaters this summer, exploring everything from the lives of celebrities (Rock Hudson, George Michael) to a look at people born intersex.
21st of June
Directed by Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker, the HBO movie The stroll tells the history of New York’s Meatpacking District from the point of view of transgender sex workers who lived and worked there.
THE REAL GEORGE MICHAEL: PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST
The late pop star, who came out as gay in 1998, is the subject of a document (available on several VOD services, including Tubi) which explores his career and personal ups and downs. The film features interviews with his music manager Simon Napier-Bell, his longtime lover and partner Kenny Goss, and fellow greats Stevie Wonder, Rufus Wainwright and Stephen Fry.
ELDORADO: ALL THAT THE NAZIS HATE
Directed by Benjamin Cantu, the Netflix doc Eldorado: Everything the Nazis hate, looks at a 1920s nightclub, Berlin’s Eldorado, which flourished during the Weimar Republic before Nazism ousted it and its freedoms. “One hundred years ago, many LGBT people in Germany experienced their sexual and emotional freedom for the first time, shortly afterwards the most extreme form of their oppression followed. This film tries to bring these big movements back to our memories,” says executive producer Felix Kriegsheim.
ROCK HUDSON: ALL HEAVEN ALLOWED
HBO’s film delves into the double life of the iconic star and symbol of heterosexual masculinity who died of AIDS in 1985 at age 59. writes THR‘s David Rooney in his review of the film.
Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julie Cohen (RBG), the Focus Features movie Everyone explores the lives of people born intersex and spotlights voices calling for an end to unnecessary surgeries. According to the filmmakers, “The film tells the stories of three individuals who have progressed from a childhood marked by shame, secrecy and non-consensual surgeries to thriving adulthood after each decided to set aside medical advice to keep their bodies a secret and instead came out as their authentic selves.”
D. Smith’s document, released by Magnolia Pictures, details the lives of four black trans sex workers in New York and Atlanta, one of whom – Koko Da Doll – was shot and killed in April after filming was completed. In his review of Kokomo town last February, THR called the film a gutsy documentary with “snappy delivery styles, glittering personalities, and kaleidoscopic perspectives.”
A version of this story first appeared in the June 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.