DAL SITO DEL FILM:
Travel Queeries, 68 minutes, is a feature documentary film that explores the life, culture, art and activism of queer individuals and groups throughout a selected group of European cities. Originating from the success of a short film shot at an international alternative queer conference in 2005 (Queeruption, Barcelona), a larger team of filmmakers joined together along with an international group of collaborating artists to produce this groundbreaking feature length film about radical queer identity and community within contemporary Europe.
Travel Queeries focuses on exploring queer as a political identity in 21st century urban Europe, looking at how language and identities translate over cultural and physical borders. The term queer, sometimes used in the United States as a unifying umbrella term for people who are LGBTQI, is also used by a progressive youth movement and academia and has many varied interpretations when brought into cross cultural context. While once a derogatory term, queer as a self-identity has become a significant political moniker in the international context for those living outside sexuality and gender norms.
Through interviews and live action footage, Travel Queeries discloses and compares how individuals, groups, and communities define and use queer. The film gives insight into radical and innovative actions and projects that push against and create an alternative to the commercialization of gay culture, and thus brings to light a subculture that operates for the most part under the radar of the LGBT mainstream. Travel Queeries takes the viewer to queers explaining the first Pride in Serbia, stories of the rich and historic drag scene in Berlin, a queer anarchist black-lingerie block at London Pride, and the queer squat scene and organizing of the 8th international Queeruption in Barcelona. Through these varied and unique examples, the film demonstrates an ability to invite audiences into the lives of those living outside societal confines.
In using digital video mixed with Super8 as mediums, Travel Queeries maintains a homemade and accessible filmic atmosphere, enabling the viewer to relate organically to the experience. With a strong transnational soundtrack accompanying stop-animation segments, video art and music videos, as well as visual art and photographs from European artists, the film culminates in giving an enthused and upbeat visual landscape through which the stories of these individuals are told.
Environmental portraiture, used to show mixed and varied spaces, helps to complement each person’s story and places them within the context of their culture. With this in mind, most interviews were filmed in settings with natural lighting or with available indoor lighting to maintain authenticity. A variety of events captured on handheld cameras allow the viewer to feel as though they are sharing the same space and time with the narrative.
Travel Queeries is a tool for bridge building through story telling between diverse communities within the LGBT/queer community and will increase people’s knowledge and perspective of queer European culture. Already, through focus group screenings in both the US and Europe, audiences have voiced amazement at the lack of knowledge or access to information in the US about these situations and communities of queer activists and projects coming out of Europe. In addition there has been great feedback from individuals within the European queer community who feel inspired and validated by this documentation of the work they are doing and by being positively portrayed within the media.