The greatest love, the deepest disappointment – and most of all the courage to be oneself! That’s the story of the feature documentary Gardenia – Before the Last Curtain Falls. Five protagonists with five amazing life story to tell – about being different, searching for meaning, identity or a place to belong to. The film gives insight into the astonishing and moving experience of a group of people, who in their old days had the courage to try something new.
In 2010 seven ageing drag queens and transsexuals (between 58 and 67 years old) were asked by Belgian star choreographer Alain Platel to return into the spotlight once more for a glamorous show called “Gardenia” – in their old days it became the highlight of their lives! It was a tough decision – all of them knew that their hair has grown a little thinner, their bellies a little bigger and their butts a little less firm – time has left its physical traces. Still, they accepted the challenge, one that would transform their lives fundamentally. “Gardenia” was a big international success with performances in 25 countries around the world.
Now, after two years, their time on stage is drawing to an end, they will return to the old challenges of life: living in gay patchwork families, searching for love, fearing loneliness – but their work on the theatre piece Gardenia has given them new strength! They have experienced that the so called “last chapter of life” has a lot more to offer, it only requires some courage. And so their future plans are ambitious: the search for a new career, singing- and piano lessons, a new show – and even running for the mayor’s office!
In co-production with ZDF/arte, Gebrüder Beetz, Savage Film, Polar Star Films, SRF, ORF Funded by Film und Medien Stiftung NRW