I Am Divine (2013) – MIFF Film Review

i-am-divine-Feature

USA, 85 mins

In the late sixties and early seventies, John Waters began his film career making shocking films that many found distasteful and extremely disturbing. Many of them featured Divine, a larger-than-life drag queen who became a household name through her acting and singing career. At least, I say she, but that was one thing this documentary was not clear on. Many of the people interviewed referred to Divine as ‘she’, however many others used ‘he’.

Divine was a character played by Harris Glenn Milstead who grew up in Baltimore bullied as much for his size as his sexuality. Once he discovered Divine, however, he was set to become a star. I Am Divine showed the side of Divine I knew and loved – the singer of disco hits such as “You Think You’re a Man” and the mother in Hairspray – but also the gentle, quiet, ambitious side that few but his closest friends saw.

I Am Divine screens at Greater Union on Friday, July 26 at 11:30pm and at Greater Union on Thursday August 8 at 9pm.