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The Queen of Ireland
Directed by Conor Horgan
86 min | 2015 | Ireland | Not Rated
If you are the kind of person who loves a joke that begins, ”A nun with Alzheimer’s forgets to walk into a lesbian bar,” then this is the film for you. From anal beads to HIV, Rory O’Neilll, aka Panti Bliss, will give you your money’s worth as the star of director Conor Horgan’s documentary, The Queen of Ireland.
Hilarious, likable, and down-to-earth, Rory is also an articulate spokesperson on larger issues facing gay culture in Ireland. His drag alter ego, Panti, is no different, and thanks to their sense of fun and approachable nature, the two characters have become a worldwide drag sensation.
Against the backdrop of intense homophobia that has characterized Ireland’s history, the film follows Rory and Panti’s rise to fame and―with the power that comes with the spotlight―championing of LGBTQ rights activism in Ireland. The intimate interviews with Rory or Panti, as well as their numerous prestigious admirers, give viewers a very real, person-based understanding of the national and global struggle for LGBTQ rights in Ireland that ends with putting marriage equality up to popular vote.
Rory and Panti’s humorous charisma is hard not to like and provides a glamorous face for a national cultural revolution. The Queen of Ireland combines a heartwarming success story with an in-depth look at a globally relevant issue.
— Jesse Sindelar
Winner: Best Documentary–2015 Dublin Film Critics Circle Award; Official Selection: 2016 Seattle International Film Festival
Preceded by the short film
Mock Identity (6 min) directed by Megan Aubry