They say music is the only international language, and the American South may as well be another country to many gay people. For years LGBTQ people have fled conservative small towns in search of more accepting pastures, a pattern that has only continued during the recent swell of legislation curtailing civil rights brought on in the Trump era. In “Gay Chorus Deep South,” director David Charles Rodrigues follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus throughout an emotional tour of the Southern United States. The film is the first Oscar contender for powerhouse producer and former HBO executive Sheila Nevins in her position as head of MTV Documentary Films, and she is coming out strong with “Gay Chorus Deep South.”
This moving exclusive first trailer gives you a good indication as to why.
According to the official synopsis, the film “follows a choir of LGBTQ singers as they tour the American South at a time when basic civil rights for LGBTQ Americans are in deep peril. Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers travelled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference. The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation. The conversations and connections that emerge offer a glimpse of a less divided America, where the things that divide us — faith, politics, sexual identity — are set aside by the soaring power of music, humanity and a little drag.”
“Gay Chorus Deep South” world premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. Rodrigues also won the Provincetown Film Festival’s John Schlesinger Award, which honors a first time filmmaker, and played to rapturous reception on the international LGBTQ film festival circuit.
“Gay Chorus Deep South” opens in theaters on November 1. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive trailer below.