Tribeca Film Review: ‘Gay Chorus Deep South’

Review by L.C. Cragg

The intimacy and compassion of this film, brings authentic hope to LGBTQ community through true stories of various members of the chorus’s journeys leading up to and through this emotional tour. Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues, was given the Documentary Audience Award, at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, also receiving a cash prize of $10,000. This is a wonderfully entertaining and a very timely story uses music to unite communities around LGBTQ rights.

To confront a resurgence of anti-LGBTQ laws, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus joined by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir embarks on an unprecedented bus tour through the Deep South, celebrating music, challenging intolerance, and confronting their own dark coming out stories.

“One of the most powerful things that we have learned, is when we started listening, we will really be heard,” Choral Director, Dr. Tim Seelig comments about the tour.

Many tour members share their emotional stories of bullying, ostracization, family dishonor and dis-owner ship. Many choral members were not only setting foot for the first time since leaving the south, but also reaching out to family members some of which they had been estranged from for decades.

Each performed song, in addition to the soundtrack were carefully chosen, (e.g. Dance with the Storm, Andrew Lippa, And I Ain’t Afraid, By Holly Near) with lyrics that communicate a myriad of feelings and messages from the “still marginalized” LGBTQ community.

Writer /Director directed by David Charles Rodrigues, adeptly explains how music is the quickest connection to people emotionally, and thus his vision, provides audiences with immediate emotional connections to the movie’s vision and very timely message: “There is hope for a less divided America.

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