From Madonna’s Dancers to Cuban Activists: 5 Must-See LGBT Documentaries at Portland’s QDoc

Lead Photo: Photo: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images
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QDoc, The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, celebrating its tenth year anniversary, just announced its 2016 lineup. And boy is it an embarrassment of riches for those Remezcla readers who have been keeping track of their favorite LGBT docs that have been making the festival rounds. Remember how psyched we were about Cecilia Aldarondo’s Memories of a Penitent Heart and Deborah S. Esquenazi’s Southwest of Salem when we caught them at the Tribeca Film Festival? Well, both are headed west at the end of May.

You really don’t want to miss a chance to see Aldarondo’s documentary about her late uncle whose death (from AIDS) has always haunted her; armed with her camera and a desire to know more about him and his partner, she’s crafted a loving family album of a film that’s as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. Similarly, you must catch Esquenazi’s powerful and infuriating film on the San Antonio Four, four gay Latinas who were accused, tried, and convicted of the heinous sexual assault of two young girls back in 1994 in what many consider a modern-day witch hunt.

For a special treat, you can even schedule yourself the greatest voguing double feature of the year what with KIKI, about the young ballroom scene in New York, and Strike a Pose, a catch-up with the dancers from Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour, screening mere days from one another. Trust us, seeing Chi Chi Mizrahi’s story next to that of Jose Gutierrez (of the House of Xtravaganza and who taught the Material Girl how to vogue!) will give you hope that sometimes all you have to do is “Express Yourself” in order to overcome even the most difficult times in your life.

And if that doesn’t sound enticing enough, the festival will be screening Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution, about the Cuban president Raul Castro’s daughter championing of gay rights, alongside Virginia Fuentes’s short film, Mamis. A Family Portrait, about the obstacles that lesbians face in becoming mothers down in Cuba and the canny ways people in the island are overcoming them.

With other films dealing with Provincetown’s “Women’s Week,” being gay in Palestine, and the African-American lesbian community in New York, this year’s QDoc is one you won’t want to miss.

QDoc – The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival runs May 19-22, 2016.