Naz and Maalik follows the story of two Muslim boys in Brooklyn, who spend their afternoons hustling perfumes, cards, lottery tickets and other goods on the streets for college money. When a joke with an undercover cop lands them in hot water with an FBI agent, the pair are stuck between allegations from the agent, their family’s opinion of homosexuality and their own opinions of their relationships. This SXSW 2015 selection examines religion, race, and sexuality, giving the audience a brief glance into the coming out story of a two Muslim youth.
The 2014 Montreal World Film Festival winner The Chambermaid (Das Zimmermädchen Lynn) chronicles the life of Lynn, a German chambermaid whose life revolves around her job and her obsession for cleanliness. A passive woman, whose relationship with her mother is strained and distanced through lack of emotion, Lynn tries to find intimacy in all the wrong places. She begins laying under the bed of guests and through her eyes, we see her world change through the vulnerability and the newness as Lynn discovers how people are when they think they are alone. When she witnesses a dominatrix and a man’s relationship, her sexual shells explodes and she is able to slowly crawl out of the asylum of herself.
Drag Becomes Him is an intimate look at the life of drag queen and season-five winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Jerick Hoffer, aka Jinkx Monsoon. In what Monsoon referred to as a collection of home videos fused together, this documentary retells how Jinkx came from a small town stage performer in Portland, Oregon, to being crowned the queen and all the moments in between. The stock footage from drag shows, as well as interviews with those closest to Jinkx, truly allows for the makeup to be removed, and to understand the complexity of the person under the two foot tall wig. Beginning drag from an early age, Monsoon discusses his own personal challenges, as well as his biggest influencers on his way to the top, and though Jinkx is no longer the Queen of Drag Race, it will always be Monsoon season, as Ru Paul so lovingly said.
All photographs courtesy of Inside Out 2015.