Strike a Pose
Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan
The Netherlands/Belgium 2016, DCP, color and b/w, 83 min., English/Spanish OV w/German ST – Austrian Premiere

Best Documentary – Key West Film Festival
Goldene Perle “Bester Dokumentarfilm” – Perlen Queer Film Festival Hannover
Audience Award – Mix Copenhagen LGBTQ Film Festival

Strike a Pose is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.

The paradox of our film is that these very proud and open guys who were telling the world to “Express Yourself”, together with Madonna, actually had a hard time doing it themselves […]. That says a lot about what life was like for gay men in the ’90s. Some of them struggled with shame. That grabbed me as a filmmaker. Reijer Zwaan

For her “Blond Ambition”-tour in 1990, pop superstar Madonna was looking for performers who knew how to vogue. Out of countless hopefuls, the gay dancers Salim, Kevin, Carlton, José, Luis and Gabriel were chosen along with hip hopper Oliver, the only straight guy. The tour was accompanied by a film crew and Madonna cast herself in the role of mother figure of her stage family. The boys soon found fans among homosexual youths who saw them as role models, while the tour came to epitomize Madonna’s commitment to gay liberation and the acknowledgement of AIDS. But the idyll fell apart after the tour. Although the dancers were pivotal to Madonna’s message, they weren't all living it. After failing to persuade Madonna to cut out the kissing scene that would ‘out’ him to his family and friends, Gabriel filed a lawsuit against her. In 1995 Gabriel died of AIDS-related illness, while the others continued to pursue their professional careers. Now, twenty-five years later, the six surviving performers are reunited and long-buried secrets are aired. The film makers excel at telling the stories of these very different dancers in order to edge closer to the truth. (Berlinale 2016)

Ester Gould
born in Scotland, UK in 1975, she studied journalism and film in Amsterdam and New York. Her debut feature documentary Shout (co-directed by Sabine Lubbe Bakker) won the prize for Best Film at the London International Documentary Film Festival in 2010.

Reijer Zwaan
born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1981, he studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York and then politics in Amsterdam and New York. He is deputy editor-in-chief for “Nieuwsuur” (Newshour), the main current affairs program in the Netherlands.

06/09 10:00 PM / Metro Kino Historischer Saal

Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan

Written by: Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan.
Director of Photography: Reinout Steenhuizen.
Edited by: Dorith Vinken.
With: Luis Camacho, Oliver Crumes III, Salim Gauwloos, Jose Gutierez, Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, Sue Trupin, Facundo Gabba.