Let’s face it: in an ambiguous political climate and country where we never know what or who is going to rock the boat next, especially with a real-life Baby Huey continuously bringing havoc to the White House, a little public advocacy goes a long, long way– especially for our beloved LGBTQ+ audience.
This brings us to “Fifty Years of Fabulous,” the rock solid 2018 documentary dedicated to informing a massive amount of people about the legendary (gay) Imperial Council, a group that started over fifty years ago in San Francisco and has been dedicated to widespread LGBTQ+ activism, altruism, cultural and social verve, not to mention noteworthy gay history and lots of pretty faces to go along with that history.
It’s a remarkably introspective documentary directed by Jethro Patalinghug, a filmmaker/writer best known for 2013’s documentary short “My Revolutionary Mother,” as well as this year’s “#MyName Is: Facebook vs. Drag Queens,” a hotly anticipated documentary that is currently in post-production. A short but explosively subversive and always interesting resume makes Patalinghug one of the best young independent filmmakers to watch out for right now, and “Fifty Years of Fabulous” is certainly no exception.
Who can help but love knowing this group is in fact the world’s OLDEST gay charity? Who can refrain from smiling after learning that they routinely crown a king and queen each year that will ultimately become the very faces of the GLAMOROUS organization? Who says that charity can’t be fun? It’s not ALL just about raising money when you’re surrounded by a group of people that are in fact, this FABULOUS, no pun intended!
The altruistic nature of the Imperial Council is heavily investigated here as we learn about how they generate gay awareness, provide housing for those in great need and time in and out help to make San Francisco a mecca of diversity and education. Tearjerker here, anyone? Yes, you really do need to see this film? And why not? Who doesn’t love gay history? Patalinghug’s work makes for something truly special. I like how the director utilizes civic pride and basic human understandings of how we are all interconnected as massively successful and reoccurring themes in his body of work here. Additionally, there are some fantastic shots of the city that make you feel like you are right alongside these characters and not watching them on a screen.
With a running time clocking in at just under ninety minutes, “Fifty Years of Fabulous” is a film that MUST be seen by you in 2019 as a representative of both the LGBTQ+ cause, pride, and gay history. There really is no reason in the world not to check this one out, in all honesty. It’s clever, sophisticated and a bit of a tearjerker in some moments. So, spend some time on the west coast and see this movie today! You truly are in for something special in this ride.
“Fifty Years of Fabulous” will be screening at qFLIX Philadelphia 2019: Twenty-Five Years of LGBTQ+ Film, March 25-31 on Saturday March 30, 5:00 PM @ Plays & Players.
ALL ACCESS Badge for Films, Events, and Gala on sale HERE.