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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Slogdance 14 small town gay bar

Posted by on January 24 at 8:46 AM

Expectations are a funny thing. When I first read the synopsis for the documentary small town gay bar, it sounded more dangerous than any of the Iraq documentaries being made today. I mean, heading into the Deep South to associate yourself with gay culture seems like bringing a lamb to the slaughter. Word up.

The movie starts out similar to what I expected when the filmmakers move two blocks away from the gay bar Rumors to interview drunk rednecks outside a roadhouse. They say everything you’d expect, but it sets the stage for an interesting dichotomy. But then the movie moves inside the gay bars, into the safety of the southern gay communities, and fails to give a general context about what average people think of out homosexuals who gather and drink. Instead the villains of the piece become the homophobic preacher, the guy from the American Family Association, and the unseen threat and history of violence.

What we eventually learn is that the inside of gay bars are the same whether you’re in the city or in the country. The bulk of the movie is an optimistic call for tolerance and family and unity, and it should play well in gay and lesbian film festivals across the country.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance
Park City, Utah