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Elegance Bratton Thinks His Films Can Help People Love Themselves Because ‘Queer People Have the Secret Sauce’

"There is no time in the world anymore for us to be in our little corners yelling at each other," the filmmaker said. "The only way we can move forward is by finding that human connection."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Elegance Bratton introduces "The Inspection" during the 60th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on October 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for FLC)

Elegance Bratton

Getty Images for FLC

Few people are having a better festival season than Elegance Bratton. His new film “The Inspection,” which offers a semi-autobiographical take on his experiences as a gay marine, earned rave reviews out of Toronto before closing the New York Film Festival. It’s the first feature-length fictional film that Bratton has directed, though he previously helmed the 2019 documentary “Pier Kids.” With success in two seemingly divergent genres, the filmmaker boasts a bright future full of promise, and he wants audiences to know that he’s just getting started.

Speaking to IndieWire on the NYFF red carpet, Bratton explained why he hopes the film’s success will create a diverse slate of opportunities for him.

“I hope people in this big, bad business know that I can shoot action movies,” Bratton said. “I can shoot horror movies. I can tell stories about history. I personally have cinematic dyslexia where I don’t see a difference between documentary and fiction films. So I hope I get an opportunity to further blur that line.”

Regardless of which genres he chooses to try in the future (and it appears there will be many), Bratton’s work is consistently underscored by simple values that he holds dear, namely the importance of loving and respecting one’s self and others.

“I believe that queer people have the secret sauce when it comes to figuring out how to be your full self and how to be your best self,” he said. “There is no time in the world anymore for us to be in our little corners yelling at each other. The only way we can move forward is by finding that human connection.”

With “The Inspection” as his fictional directorial debut, Bratton’s feature directing career is off to a strong start. In her review of the film, IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote: “This is a human story, as messy and complex and maddening as any ever told, and while Bratton makes it his own (how could he not?), the generosity with which he shares it with us make it special indeed.”

A24 is expected to release “The Inspection” in select theaters on November 18.

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