Wildness (2012), the first feature film by transgender artist Wu Tsang, follows a group of queer young artists who establish a weekly party and performance event at the Silver Platter, a historic bar in downtown Los Angeles frequented mostly by Latino transwomen and their friends and admirers. After some initial friction, the two groups begin to tessellate well together, but the popularity of the party leads to some negative attention from the press—and also from immigration services—which has devastating consequences for some of the bar regulars and leads the splintered community to question and renegotiate its shared identity. The film is stylistically experimental, blending documentary with magical-realist techniques to create a dreamlike meditation on a small moment in queer history, the ramifications of which tell an important tale about safe space and solidarity.

Wu Tsang describes the making of Wildness as a...

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