‘Queer Tongues’ Documentary

A documentary on London’s LGBTQIA spoken word scene, by Ernesto Sarezale.

Ernesto Sarezale has been a denizen of London’s LGBT spoken word scene since before there even was one, and just a handful of us, including yours truly, were trying to scratch together events. His documentary shows how the scene is now a diverse, burgeoning and beautiful thing.

Talking heads and talking bodies, some naked and conjoined, all with full hearts and something to say, can be seen in Ernesto’s new documentary QUEER TONGUES now playing — and free to view until August 31st via registration — at Brighton Pride Film Festival: https://thelatest.co.uk/features/

The seamless continuity and flow of the film’s edits, as one talking head laces into another and all branch into multi-spectrum performances and reflections on being an LGBT, POC, QIA! spoken word performer, is extraordinary. Guided by the opening lines of Ginsberg’s Howl, the film equally deftly moves between the subject matter of its contents: ‘madness… starving… naked… hysterical… dragging… negro…’

Queer Tongues provides a great record of the current state of the London LGBT spoken word scene and includes historic snippets of what Ernesto has been able to salvage along the way - from when there was hardly even an egg of such a thing - including an audio excerpt from something I thought was lost forever: the opening pitch of the shows of The Queer Poets Society from back in the last century, in which I enticed passers by to the show with, ‘Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! We’ve got your bum boys, your batty boys and your shirt lifters, we’ve got your butch dykes, your bull dykes and your femme dykes and, especially for you missis, we’ve got your lipstick lesbians…’

Indeed, every one is here. Sarezale provides an uplifting and energised document of the scene; reclaiming and renewing, displacing and replacing words, and occupying space.

Russell Christie