Women Behind Bars - Netflix

Wed 15 May 2019

Filed under netflix

Tags netflix Documentary English

Sir Trevor McDonald ventures inside two of Indiana's most dangerous female prisons, and witnesses a world of seduction and manipulation as inmates prey on each other and those who guard them. Trevor gets unique access to Rockville Penitentiary, the largest female prison in Indiana. Here hundreds of women are processed each week, both murderers and continual re-offenders alike. Trevor also goes to Indiana Women's Prison, housing the most extreme cases. He meets some of the most dangerous offenders and women who will spend the rest of their life behind bars.

Women Behind Bars - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2013-09-26

Women Behind Bars - Divine (performer) - Netflix

Harris Glenn Milstead, better known by his stage name Divine (October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988), was an American actor, singer, and drag queen. Closely associated with the independent filmmaker John Waters, Divine was a character actor, usually performing female roles in cinematic and theatrical appearances, and adopted a female drag persona for his music career. Born in Baltimore, Maryland to a conservative middle-class family, Milstead developed an early interest in drag while working as a women's hairdresser. By the mid-1960s he had embraced the city's countercultural scene and befriended Waters, who gave him the name “Divine” and the tagline of “the most beautiful woman in the world, almost.” Along with his friend David Lochary, Divine joined Waters' acting troupe, the Dreamlanders, and adopted female roles for their experimental short films Roman Candles (1966), Eat Your Makeup (1968), and The Diane Linkletter Story (1969). Again in drag, he took a lead role in both of Waters' early full-length movies, Mondo Trasho (1969) and Multiple Maniacs (1970), the latter of which began to attract press attention for the group. Divine next starred in Waters' Pink Flamingos (1972), which proved a hit on the U.S. midnight movie circuit, became a cult classic, and established Divine's fame within the American counterculture. After starring as the lead role in Waters' next film, Female Trouble (1974), Divine moved on to theater, appearing in several avant-garde performances alongside San Francisco drag collective, The Cockettes. He followed this with a performance in Tom Eyen's play Women Behind Bars and its sequel, The Neon Woman. Continuing his cinematic work, he starred in two more of Waters' films, Polyester (1981) and Hairspray (1988), the latter of which represented his breakthrough into mainstream cinema. Independent of Waters, he also appeared in a number of other films, such as Lust in the Dust (1985) and Trouble in Mind (1985), seeking to diversify his repertoire by playing male roles. In 1981, Divine embarked on a career in the disco industry by producing a number of Hi-NRG tracks, most of which were written by Bobby Orlando. He achieved international chart success with hits like “You Think You're a Man”, “I'm So Beautiful”, and “Walk Like a Man”, all of which were performed in drag. Having struggled with obesity throughout his life, he died from cardiomegaly in March 1988 at age 42. Described by People magazine as the “Drag Queen of the Century”, Divine has remained a cult figure, particularly within the LGBT community, and has provided the inspiration for fictional characters, artworks, and songs. Various books and documentary films devoted to his life have also been produced, including Divine Trash (1998) and I Am Divine (2013).

Women Behind Bars - Drag persona and performance - Netflix

After developing a name for himself as a female impersonator known for “trashy” behavior in his early John Waters films, Divine capitalized on this image by appearing at his musical performances in his drag persona. In this role, he was described by his manager Bernard Jay, as displaying “Trash. Filth. Obscenity. In bucket-loads”. Divine described his stage performances as “just good, dirty fun, and if you find it offensive, honey, don't join in.” As a part of his performance, he constantly swore at the audience, often using his signature line of “fuck you very much”, and at times got audience members to come onstage, where he would fondle their buttocks, groins, and breasts. Divine and his stage act proved particularly popular among gay audiences, and he appeared at some of the world's biggest gay clubs, such as Central London's Heaven. According to Divine's manager Bernard Jay, this was not because Divine himself was gay, but because the gay community “openly and proudly identified with the determination of the female character Divine”. Divine became increasingly known for outlandish stunts onstage, each time trying to outdo what he had done before. At one performance in London's Hippodrome coinciding with American Independence Day, Divine rose up from the floor on a hydraulic lift, draped in the American flag, and declared: “I'm here representing Freedom, Liberty, Family Values, and the fucking American Way of Life.” When he performed at the London Gay Pride parade, he sang on the roof of a hired pleasure boat that floated down the Thames past Jubilee Gardens. At a performance Divine gave at the Hippodrome in the last year of his life, he appeared onstage riding an infant elephant which had been hired for the occasion. Divine was nevertheless not happy with being known primarily for his drag act, and told an interviewer that “my favorite part of drag is getting out of it. Drag is my work clothes. I only put it on when someone pays me to”, a view he echoed to his friends.

Women Behind Bars - References - Netflix


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