The Sons of Tennessee Williams Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Mardi Gras, drag balls and politics–where else could these elements come together but in New Orleans? Interweaving archival footage and contemporary interviews, The Sons of Tennessee Williams charts the evolution of the gay Mardi Gras krewe scene over the decades, illuminating the ways in which its emergence was a seminal factor in the cause of gay liberation in the South. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Oct 5, 2011
    The significance of that group anecdote - from the message of unity to the way Mardi Gras gave some gay New Orleanians a way to explain their lives to their parents - can't be overstated, either for its impact on human rights or its power to move.
  2. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 9, 2011
    Genial documentary combines extravagance of Mardi Gras drag with an underexposed story of early gay-rights achievements.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 7, 2011
    The Sons of Tennessee Williams, which offers touching interviews with many older gay men, somewhat awkwardly connects this history with the efforts of a gay Mardi Gras crew to keep going in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  4. Reviewed by: Paul Brunick
    Oct 6, 2011
    As the film cuts back and forth between the present day and a historical survey of gay culture, its tone wavers between dutifully somber and irrepressibly funny.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Oct 4, 2011
    Tim Wolff's documentary is a diverting mix of colorful interviewees and footage from one such krewe's 40th anniversary ball, but it doesn't probe very deep.
  6. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Oct 4, 2011
    A tedious exercise in filling in historical blanks through exhausted tropes.
  7. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Oct 6, 2011
    This time-tested project of tracing gayness back to when its shame was so explicitly enforced feels not only passé, and naïve, but mostly unproductive in a post-Judith Butler world in which drag queens are on TV teaching biological women how to better perform womanhood.