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Published on Jul 17, 2009
2 August Time 6.30pm Screen Light House 1 Dir. John Greyson, David Wall 2009 Canada 112 mins Screened with 575 Castro Street/2009 USA/Dir. Jenni Olson/8 mins Total duration 124 mins
Fig Trees is a hymn to LGBT activists likened to Saints following in the footsteps of St. Martin (played by a choirboy, a squirrel and an animatronic puppy) in Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomsons opera Four Saints in Three Acts. The film partly follows Tim McCaskell and also Zackie Achmat who recently hit the worlds headlines after refusing to take anti-retroviral drugs until they were made available to all. It also involves everything from an exciting round of Bono-bashing to a satirical take on pop music with the Top 100 AIDS Pop Songs of All Time, including Michael Jacksons Thriller re-written as an AIDS zombie allegory! John Greyson is the New Queer Cinema pioneer filmmaker of Zero Patience and Lilies, both confirmed gems in any queer film canon. Fig Trees returns to the AIDS crisis 15 years on from Zero Patience, a modern masterpiece that confronted and challenged the AIDS orthodoxy recorded in Randy Shilts And the Band Played On. A visual and aural explosion onto the screen unlike any film since the last Jarman or Greenaway, this is queer cinema to the core and is not to be missed.
Preceding Fig Trees is the equally brilliant short homage to the late, great Harvey Milk, 575 Castro Street by Jenni Olson.
If it sounds goofy, it is, and sensual, angry, camp, funny, grim, moving, exasperating, uplifting. In short, OutRageous. Little White Lies
Berlin International Film Festival 2009, Teddy Award for Best Documentary