Previously at the ICA - Films

Jeffrey Schwarz, I Am Divine, 2013

I am Divine

18 Jul 20146 Aug 2014

Growing up a chubby, bullied adolescent, Harris Glenn Milstead could never have imagined that he’d become the Superstar of Filth and the twisted muse of filmmaking genius John Waters.

Prolific documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz charts Milstead’s transformation from a closeted Baltimore boy into the flamboyant drag queen Divine. Divine most (in)famously starred in Waters’ seamy underground movies such as Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos, but went on to successfully reinvent himself as both a disco diva and a more-or-less conventional actress in the mainstream hits Hairspray and Polyester before his untimely death in 1988.

Film clips and extensive, rapid-fire interviews with Milstead’s friends, colleagues, lovers and, most tellingly, his late mother – who recalls his upbringing with great affection, and his coming out with bigoted horror – paint a comprehensive portrait of this complex, pioneering artist.

I Am Divine Cinema Trailer - Peccadillo Pictures

I Am Divine. dir. Jeffrey Schwarz, USA 2013, 90 mins, cert. TBC

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