(Film) – Hackney ShowRoom as part of Queer Show and Tell
***** stars (5 stars)
On Saturday I went and saw “Les Invisibles” (2012, dir: Sebastien Lifshitz) at Hackney Showroom as part of the “Queer Show & Tell” Festival. I’d never been to Hackney Showroom before and though I know this is a review of a film, not a venue I do want to mention what a great venue it was. The film was screened in a space that was also used for theatre and though this meant not the world’s comfiest seating, it was really great to have a space truly being utilized to showcase films and theatre. A nice find for me and I recommend checking it out if it’s new to you too.
Anyway onto the film. I’m procrastinating a little as I know I can’t bottle the energy and beauty of this film into any words really. As a reviewer I know it’s my job here but in a nutshell, you really have to see this movie. It’s rare nowadays that I see something that moves me or really effects me. I know that might be part of getting older but I also think it’s because there is such a glut of crap out at the cinema and so much boring, paint by numbers stories being shared. “Les Invisibles” was truthful, unexpected , flawed and life affirming. If I was a cheesy movie tagline I’d almost go as far to say “Feel good film” though that phrase makes me want to punch people so maybe not.
The brief summary of the film was that it was a documentary about several elderly homosexual men and women speaking about their decision to live openly at a time when society rejected them. They were all incredible people who spoke with such honesty, and really shared their own coming out and the way they chose to live their lives. It’s amazing to hear stories of people who were out when society was openly hostile towards them, and though we’ve come along as a society today, it did still make me think how much further we need to go. What personally struck me most was that the film gave a voice to old people. Most who were interviewed were well into their 70s & 80s and they had lived such rich, big lives. One woman was married to a man and had a family until she was able to be her true self at 42. I’m so used to seeing young people on film and youth being lauded that the real triumph for me was listening to their stories and learning how the world has been shaped by these individual bravery and a pioneering spirit to challenge the status quo. We can all learn from that I think. And I hope that we do.
It was a really easy watch but not a brain switch off. I left the cinema with my friend feeling inspired and engaged and…I felt good. I think you can’t get better than that.
***** stars (5 stars)
© Sarah Robertson 2015
Sarah is a poet and playwright who also does the 9-5 thing at Canary Wharf. A film buff with a penchant for 70s/80s horror, she is also interested in writing theatre that deals with social issues and the dark side of human nature. She is an associate artist of Shaky Isles Theatre and occasionally can be found shooting the breeze at thedirkesthour.blogspot.co.uk