THE AGGRESSIVES (Daniel Peddle, U.S.). 75 minutes. Saturday (May 20), 2:45 pm. ROM. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Like a harder-hitting, more critically informed inverse version of Paris Is Burning, The Aggressives focuses on an almost exclusively African-American community tenuously centred around gritty NYC drag balls and goes deep from there.
Director Daniel Peddle immerses himself in the titular group of Aggressives - tough, powerful dykes who embrace masculinity without wanting to be male. He chooses a staggering range of individuals to illustrate the diversity of life experience, personalities and gender expression within the scene, from orphaned teen hustler and MTF tranny-chaser Tiffany and gentle butch Marquise (who enlists in the military) to sole Asian Aggressive Flo .
Though the production values are fairly low, Peddle's loose, freestyle structure, ability to provide an intimate portrait of every subject's life (he followed these women for years) and deft incorporation of multi-faceted class and gender analysis that's never preachy or didactic make The Aggressives a vital instant classic.
Not to be missed.