- Director: Lis Bartlett
- Writer: Lis Bartlett; James Cude
- Producer: Lis Bartlett; Nathan Santell
Here's a film that defines the whole concept of the 'safe space' for LGBT folk. Why they were established, why they are [still] needed...and, why - seriously - are they being eroded!?!
This is a journey - often heartbreaking - from before the dawn of AIDS, through that maelstrom and into - what can be now considered - a brighter future. But, for those [of a certain age] the memories and pain [will always] linger. They share their stories...of brief histories and of a community that rallied...West Hollywood, we love you. You took care of your own when everyone else turned their backs...in a not-so quiet and barbaric disgust.
Indeed, times have changed...as Light in the Water so amply reveals...but, it's a bitter/sweet sort of change...some of it good, some of it not so. Every generation needs to make its mark...but, not at the expense of muffling the preceding generation! Older voices are being silenced, old ways are being dismantled...
The uber-sensitive politically-correct-inclined 'elite' scream and shout and stamp their feet whenever there is an instance of 'cultural appropriation' - many artist(e)s have felt their vehement wrath!
But...what about LGBT appropriation? Let's face it, in these connected and concocted times: It's chic to be LGBT - whether you are LGBT or not?!? Everyone's gonna be fluid! There goes the 'community', there goes all of those safe spaces!
Lis Bartlett's [mighty fine] film tells a history and asks some rather fiesty questions concerning the current buzz-word: Inclusivity. What was [once] a gay man's swimming club, became a gay & lesbian swim-club...which became, you see where we going with this...and now, a [very] significant percentage of its members identify as straight! There goes the neighbourhood!
If we keep on adding to the ridiculously contrived alphabet of...LGBTQQIP2SAA+*...why not just add an extra 'S' [for straight] and be done with the whole caboodle!?! Give us an 'I', give us an 'N', give us a 'C', 'L', 'U' - you see where we're going with this...!
Jings...never thought a film about a 'once upon a time there was a gay man's swimming club' would be so far reaching, would pack such mighty punches...and, most importantly...it certainly leaves you thinking [and, perhaps, reminiscing]...about the states of affairs, both then & now!
A rather brilliant, beautifully constructed film.
In 1982, soon after the first Gay Games, 'West Hollywood Swim Club,' as it was known then, registered as the first openly gay masters swim and water polo club. This feature documentary film follows their battle for acceptance: from their humble beginnings, to how these men and women have become a renowned force fighting injustice in the world of competitive sports.