Just as much about its subject Armistead Maupin, the beloved author of the classic ‘Tales of the City’ series, as it is about the LGBT community living in San Francisco, ‘The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin’ is an easily digestible and informative documentary that paints a poignant picture of a figure we should all become more familiar with.
A pioneering figure whose works were some of the first to tackle such personal issues as AIDS and same-sex relations, filmmaker Jennifer Kroot illustrates Maupin as a true champion for the marginalized as he connected to his vast readership in a humanistic manner, allowing his portrayals of gay people, transgenders, and other minorities to be accepted in a more natural way.
Kroot said she was a longtime fan of Armistead’s writing and couldn’t believe he had never been the subject of a documentary.
“His ‘Tales’ stories are very personal to me since I grew up in the Bay Area during the era when these stories are told,” she said.
“I’ve always been drawn to icons who have complicated pasts, and after reading a little about his background and learning that Armistead had been so vehemently conservative as a young man, I became obsessed with connecting the dots from the young southern Republican to the outspoken, openly gay, warm hearted, activist writer.
“So many elements from his personal history were powerful and eerily relevant, and I strongly felt that all of them needed to be woven together and shared with a larger audience.”
Featuring interviews with such talent as Margaret Cho, Ian McKellan and Laura Linney, this effective project sings Maupin’s praises and celebrates his legacy whilst constantly proving it isn’t afraid to explore the depths of his own tragic history.
The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin will screen in Brisbane at Palace Centra cinemas on Sunday, May 28 as part of the American Essentials Film Festival. For more information visit the festival’s website.