Since I was a child, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Divine. She was a glamorous, filthy, curious, funny celebrity that wasn’t ever without intrigue. She was an icon and an inspiration to so many. As a very young child, I was only really familiar with her work in Hairspray (my favorite movie as a child) but eventually came to discover her in cult/trash/brilliant classics like Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Polyester in addition to her silly and brilliant stint as a new wave diva. She is greatly missed–and it’s kind of shocking that there has been no cinematic memorial dedicated to her.
Well, kids: the time has come! Local Jeffrey Schwarz is producing, directing, and campaigning to get I Am Divine, a full length documentary on the queen of trash’s life.
The movie is planning on telling the story of Divine through her family, friends, collaborators, and those who were influenced by her work. Divine (real name: Harris Glenn Milstead) has quite a story of being a bullied Baltimore fat kid who eventually mashed together punk, drag, beauty, and filth together to become who we now know her to be. We’ll get to hear from John Waters, Mink Stole, Michael Musto, Bruce Villanch, and so many more people who were involved in her life. One of the most important details to note is Schwarz’s credentials: he’s a fantastic filmmaker! If you caught this year’s Outfest opening night or its debut on HBO a few months back, he was the person behind the absolutely brilliant (and devastating) documentary about Vito Russo. He can put a lot of heart, humor, and tears into his films. If anyone should be making this film, it should be this guy.
The film is currently seeking help via Kickstarter and is nearly halfway through their $40K goal. Help them out if you can, especially if you are a fan of Divine. Their deadline is in fourteen days, which is actually Divine’s birthday. Donate here!