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Mama Gloria

Country: USA, Language: English, 76 mins

  • Director: Luchina Fisher
  • Writer: Luchina Fisher
  • Producer: Luchina Fisher; Yvonne Welbon; Zainab Ali

CGiii Comment

Here's a woman worth listening to. And, Luchina Fisher lets Mama Gloria talk...against a plain, black background, straight to camera, with no technical trickery...allowing the words to speak for themselves. And...the authenticity speaks for itself too. How refreshing.

Gloria is getting on a bit...once, she had something to say...and, guess what? She still has something to say! The voice of experience. Those who ignore those voices of experience will - undoubtedly - fall foul. Few - if any - tread new ground...but, one of the newest territories [to have been trodden in recent years] is that of transition...well, Gloria has been-and-done-that...a wise, younger person travelling down the same road will do themselves a massive favour by listening to her.

Call it what you will...personal testimony, contemporary social history...no matter, it is vital. To educate the under-educated, to enlighten those who need to call upon a shared experience...to help them through the minefield. Gloria will help...most definitely, some will call her old-fashioned...but, hey...we all become old-fashioned. Give it time...it - most definitely - will happen to you...too! Ouch! Reality hurts!

Few stones are left unturned...even down to Gloria's missing tooth! But...one thing that is so evident...Gloria needs support, her story needs to be preserved. This film accomplishes the preservation...those of the many who love her - those who she helped...it's time to step up! 

A dignified lady...and, a film that does her justice.


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The(ir) Blurb...

Described as a ‘love letter to a charismatic activist’, Fisher’s heartfelt debut is a warm and honest depiction of trans life in Chicago’s Black community. Gloria Allen, also known as ‘Mama Gloria’, narrates her life from early childhood and becoming a fixture of the ball scene in Chicago’s South Side to creating a charm school for local trans girls, proving that trans women can live to old age. Gloria’s unique perspective dispels the myth that aggressive racism only existed in the southern states, and from that context the film confronts the distressing violence that has punctuated her life. Nonetheless, it is a life lived with the support of deep family ties, buoyed by faith and carried forward with remarkable kindness.

Jay Bernard, Programmer