If there is one film I would urge you to watch then it would definitely be Pier Kids which was released in cinemas in the UK on October 8th.
A thoughtfully crafted and honest masterpiece by queer, black director Elegance Bratton, Pier Kids was shot over the duration of five years (2011-2016). Focusing on the societal injustices queer, homeless and black folks in America face, the documentary highlights the communities’ suffering from police brutality, financial precariousness, and urban gentrification, while also beautifully displaying how the Pier Kids have created themselves a community and home at Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers.
Getting an intimate glimpse through the lens of Bratton into the daily lives of three members of the community, Crystal LaBeija, Casper, and Desean, the shots make you feel like you are actually there, becoming a part of the space and daily lives of the community in New York.
Intimate and honest, this portrait puts into perspective topics such as sex work, the death of a loved one, and the struggles of being accepted as a trans person by your family and friends. And, with scenes that are devastating to watch, this brutal, but also beautiful film shows that there is so much warmth in all the sadness and struggle, making the viewer reflect on the true meaning of belonging and love.
Tickets for Pier Kids are available here: https://www.ica.art/films/pier-kids.
Reviewed by Giulia Ciccolella – Giulia is interning with Abundant Art during the month of October and supports the organisation writing reviews and helping with marketing and PR. Giulia is German-Italian and graduated with a BA in Media & Communications with first-class honours from Goldsmiths, University of London, and has been living in the UK for over three years. She is excited to explore London’s art scene further and to learn more about the work of Abundant Art.