A lesser effort among the tireless Rosa von Praunheim's myriad chroniclings of German gay life, "Queens Don't Lie" casts a spotlight on four Berlin drag queens whose lives have been entwined for nearly two decades. Gay fests will bite due to helmer's longtime status as a favorite.

A lesser effort among the tireless Rosa von Praunheim’s myriad chroniclings of German gay life, “Queens Don’t Lie” casts a spotlight on four Berlin drag queens whose lives have been entwined for nearly two decades. Diverting but attenuated pic’s subjects seem better suited to short-format scrutiny; they’re engaging folk, but their achievements and personal lives are ultimately of limited, mostly local interest. Gay fests will bite due to helmer’s longtime status as a favorite. Otherwise, offshore prospects are slight.

Tima die Gottliche, Ichgola Androgyn and Bev Stroganov first met in the early ’80s as cross-dressing participants in a gay community center’s extravagant shows and benefits; Ovo Maltine signed on a couple years later. Quartet became a gay community icon for performances (usually lip-synching to kitschy Deutsche pop oldies), and Bev’s outre fashion designs and TV program hosting, Ichgola’s stage thesping, etc. Three are HIV-positive; all have been politically activists. They’ve all also appeared in prior von Praunheim features, each excerpted here. Formative sexual experiences, personal HIV issues, a stint at communal living/loving et al. are limned, but pic runs out of steam before it does reels. Tech aspects are OK.

Queens Don't Lie

Germany

Production

An NDR presentation of a Rosa von Praunheim Film production. Produced by Dagmar Filoda. Directed by Rosa von Praunheim.

Crew

Camera (color, HD video), Lorenz Haarman; editor, Mike Shepherd. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 20, 2002. Running time: 89 MIN.
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