"For They Know Not What They Do" and "Disclosure" are must-see docs for Pride season
When it comes to documentaries about the LGBTQ+ experience in media, 1995's The Celluloid Closet is often considered the pinnacle of combining history with the very real emotions that come with seeing oneself on-screen, both good and bad. After seeing Netflix's new documentary about the trans experience on the big and small screen, it was no surprise to hear that director Sam Feder was deeply affected and inspired by the 90s doc. What Feder does with Disclosure is not only thought-provoking but incredibly inspiring.
Netflix describes the film as "an in-depth look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact of those stories on transgender lives and American culture" and while it is that, at its core, it's a personal and thoughtful human experience. It's also a film that everyone working in the entertainment industry should watch. Before taking new steps into potentially tropey, if well-meaning stories, we all need to understand the significant impact of those stories. Disclosure features actors and creators like Jaime Clayton, Laverne Cox, Elliot Fletcher, Trace Lysette, and Yance Ford to name a few.
Powerful, at times heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, Disclosure should be on your must-see list for Pride or any time of the year.
Catch Disclosure on Netflix starting Friday, June 19th.
If you watched the excellent 2007 documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, about the intersection of the LGBTQ community and religion, then Daniel G. Karslake's follow-up film, For They Know Not What They Do will likely speak to you. For They Know looks at four deeply religious families, and how they handle raising LGBTQ children.
This doc is an emotional roller coaster, with some joyous moments, and others full of tears and regrets. Senate candidate Sarah McBride's family at first struggled to accept that their daughter was transgender, but have grown to become supportive parents. For other families like the Robertsons, their dedication to their faith was in direct opposition to their acceptance of their gay son Ryan, which caused a wounded distance between them. For LGBTQ folks who grew up in deeply religious households, much of what happens in this film will ring true. However, you don't have to be from a strong religious background to understand the love, pain and faith expressed by parents and their gay and trans children alike.
You can now watch For They Know Not What They Do through a number of online theatres.