Dir: Colin Rothbart.
Documentary with: Pia Arber, Scottee, Jonny Woo, Amber Waze. 94 mins. Cert: 18
dispatch from London’s flourishing drag community initially threatens to be all
tits and teeth: a whirlwind tour of a scene that needs scant encouragement to
pop on a frock and extensively self-document. Once the filmmaker returns to his
subjects off-hours, however, he identifies as much subtle and cherishable
variation as there is among birds of paradise. There’s Scottee, for whom drag
is a confessional, often confrontational form of performance art; Amber
(formerly Dean), whose transition – and subsequent reunion with her bluff
Mancunian father – forms the most compelling throughline; Rothbart’s inclusive
approach also finds room for the enigmatic Pia, a third-gender conspiracy
theorist whose Facebook updates are, as you might imagine, something else
entirely. The survey extends not far beyond a few Dalston sidestreets, but the
footage Rothbart returns, lit up like a dancefloor and energised with Hi-NRG
beats, is affectionate, insightful and often very funny. And you can bet any
afterparty will be a blast. Dressed as a Girl is now playing in selected cinemas.