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Source:  San Francisco Chronicle

Given the dearth of LGBTQ images and movies before the emergence of the gay liberation movement, it’s a remarkable experience to watch “The Queen,” a newly restored, pre-Stonewall documentary that shined a light on the drag queen subculture decades before “Paris Is Burning,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and “Pose” hit the runway.

The 1968 landmark film follows the Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant in New York, circa 1967, and as one might expect, “The Queen” details the intense competition and rigorous preparations that the contestants undergo with their makeup, accessories, and wardrobe.

But what makes “The Queen” special is its ability to take us back in time, letting us be flies on the wall as pioneers of the soon-to-be-born LGBTQ movement grapple with boyfriend issues, the Vietnam War, family problems — and with being underground in a society where cross-dressing can be a crime.

The gender identity and racial undercurrents of the film have a prescient quality, foreshadowing some of the tensions that the LGBTQ community is dealing with today.

Visit the Kino Lorber website for cities and showtimes.

Read the story at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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