The man, the myth, the makeup: Jeffrey Schwarz’s “I Am Divine” is a fond celebration of the late Harris Glenn Milstead, AKA the big and bawdy provocateur and muse to John Waters, “Divine.” Schwarz’s uniformly admiring interviewees testify that the “World’s Filthiest Person” was persona, through and through, and not the man himself, whose untimely death at forty-two, in 1988, cut a promising career short, just as he was beginning to be cast in roles as a man. Interviewees include Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Holly Woodlawn, Bruce Vilanch, Michael Musto, Tab Hunter and, most endearingly, his late mother Frances. 85m. (Ray Pride)
“I Am Divine” opens Friday, December 6 at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.