TEMPEST STORM (Nimisha Mukerji). 83 minutes. Opens Friday (June 17). See listing. Rating: NNNN
At 87, Tempest Storm bills herself as “the oldest burlesque dancer in the world” – though these days she mostly makes public appearances (and autograph signings) as one of the elder stateswomen of female empowerment.
She’s earned that status the hard way, as filmmaker Nimisha Mukerji (65_Red Roses, Blood Relative) shows us in this comprehensive portrait, which follows Storm as she works the celebrity circuit and tries to reconnect with a daughter she hasn’t seen in decades.
This could be played for shameless manipulation – and Storm’s old friend Garry Marshall, who turns up for a genuinely sweet interview, would no doubt layer on the schmaltz.
But Mukerji’s sharper than that, slowly nudging aside her subject’s brassy burlesque persona to reveal a woman working to reconcile the various versions of herself that she’s worn and discarded over the years.