She was hilarious, fabulous and grotesque all at the same time. Divine, the stage name for Harris Glenn Milstead’s larger-than-life drag creation, was made famous in films such as Polyester, Pink Flamingos and Hairspray.
I Am Divine, a new documentary that will screen at the Inside Out Film Festival, features many interviews – including with John Waters, the director behind Divine’s rise to fame.
Jeffrey Schwarz, whose most recent documentary, Vito, about activist Vito Russo, played the film festival circuit last year before airing on HBO, directed I Am Divine.
Xtra chatted with Schwarz last year while I Am Divine was still in production.
“He had the crap beat out of him by bullies every day,” Schwarz says. “And he kind of turned all that rage and anger that was internalized and sort of exploded it into this larger-than-life character of Divine.”
I Am Divine screens June 1 at Inside Out.