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Before the Last Curtain Falls

When the Belgian contemporary dance/ballet production Gardenia opened in 2010 starring aging gay and trans ex-cabaret artists, it became an international success, playing over 200 shows in 25 countries. Breathtakingly beautiful night shots of the medieval city of Ghent, Belgium, set the scene as the cast returns home for the last performance—and take up the challenge of reconnecting with their lives off stage. Belgian new wave choreographer Alain Platel and “wizard” stage director Frank Van Laecke collaborate to turn the cast member’s lives into movement; stunning cinematography and editing capture their almost wordless choreography, which seamlessly blends into interviews with each performer. Alternately tender and lascivious, the stories unfold with all of the glamour, courage, tragedy and turbulence of lives lived as gender and sexual rebels. [Synopsis courtesy of Hot Docs]