Film Review: DRAG KIDS (Canada 2019) ***

Directed by Megan Wennberg

DRAG KIDS is a Canadian documentary about drag kids i.e. kids that dress up in drag to perform, just as their adults counterparts – drag queens do.

Director Megan Wennberg’s doc takes advantage of this curiosity  as well as proposes answers to questions like why would kids want to do drag and how their performances affect themselves and their close ones.

Four children are chosen from Canada, Europe (Spain) and the United States.  The children are as diverse as they are drag kids.  The four are: (their stage names used; just as their adults counterparts use) Queen Lactatia, Laddy GaGa, Suzan Bee Anthony and Bracken Hanke.  The climax of the film is their performances, their first time at Fierte Montreal (the new name for Pride Montreal) where they come together and interact, just as their parents do.  Needless to say, they have the times of their lives as in the words of Suzan: “This is the best time in my life – ever!”  Suzan is the only female doing drag.  One the music starts, and the kids go on stage, the remarkable happens!

One encouraging thing the doc exposes is the support provided by the parents of these children regardless of which continent they come from.  The parents speak highly of their children and their ability to do what they want.  One parent makes a good point putting down the fact of the question on whether his child is straight or gay.  My son is only 9, is the valid response.

The doc offers close to equal time devoted to each of the 4.  Which drag kid is the best? The answer is revealed at the end of the competition, but it does not really matter when everyone is having a good time, parents included.

It is also no easy task to perform drag, kid or adult as the film reveals.  The children undergo intense choreography lessons in preparation for their show.

One glaring fact is that Wennberg only skims the surface of drag kids in her doc and fails to go deeper into any connecting issues.  The result is an ok doc, pleasant to watch with a little information on the subject but fails to offer major insight to the its subject.

DRAG KIDS premiered at the Hot Docs in Toronto 2019.  There will be two other opportunities to view the film – one at the LGBT Inside Out Film Festival that runs from the 23rd of May and the other, when it premieres on the Documentary Channel in July of this year.