History documentary that rescue the Golden era of the gay night life of São Paulo city, making a trip through the decades of 1960, 70 and 80 – with memories of witnesses from the period, who remember night clubs that were remarkable, the stars, the travestites, the heroes, and even the bad guys: military dictatorship and the explosion of AIDS.
Fun fact: São Paulo has the largest Pride parade in the world, which this year took place on May 4th in the city center. Little did I know this area was the heart of SP gay nightlife in its heyday, in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Journalists, drag queens, club owners, and former nightlife enthusiasts recount how queer Paulistanos found a way to express themselves under the repressive dictatorship and the cultural scene that thrived until the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Clubs like Medieval on Rua Augusta played a major role in creating a space, as well as the first LGBT publication O Lampião da Esquina, whose public circulation seems remarkable given the time period. This documentary is considered sort of a prequel to director Lufe Steffen’s previous work A Volta da Pauliceia Desvairada (The Return of Hallucinated São Paulo), which highlights key players in the Paulista gay scene today.
In an interview, Steffen asserts that the film has received a warm, emotional response from a wide range of people: older queer people who lived during the time period, older heterosexual married women, young people of all orientations. “I hope this helps society become less hypocritical, prejudiced and repressed. Film always had the power to rail against society and it continues that way. One needs to know how to use that power.” (tropicalsmog.com)