Background Home Watch Now

NEWS  |  AWARDS  |  REVIEWS  |  INTERVIEWS

Reviews

Review: San Francisco Chronicle
January 7, 2014

“The impeccably researched film, with an eye to history, reflects the professional approach of Divine, a disciplined artist (real name: Harris Glenn Milstead) whose work holds up today…” (full article: sfgate.com)
 

Review: Chicago Reader

“…enjoyed his unexpected fame as a drag icon and lived life to the fullest (particularly where his stomach was concerned)” (full article: chicagoreader.com)
 

Review: New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Doc offers affectionate portrait of cross-dressing cult-film star” (full article: nola.com)
 

Review: The Stranger
November 18, 2013

“But the most powerful moments of I Am Divine are the most powerful moments of Divine on film, racing on the insane chemistry she enjoyed with John Waters.” (full article: thestranger.com)
 

Review: The Seattle Times

A three-star movie review of “I Am Divine,” Jeffrey Schwarz’s enjoyable documentary about Harris Glenn Milstead, the outrageous midnight-movie icon better known as Divine. (full article: seattletimes.com)
 

REVIEW: The New York Times
October 28, 2013

“It is an aggressively upbeat show-business success story that focuses on his self-reinvention as the most flamboyantly charismatic member of the band of outsiders in Dreamland Productions…” (full article: newyorktimes.com)
 

REVIEW: NY Daily News

(4 stars!) “Terrific footage from behind the scenes (including the end of “Pink Flamingos”) helps make this recollection funny, full and sad.” (full article: nydailynews.com)
 

REVIEW: Film Journal International

“Surprisingly rich, funny and moving documentary about one very big—in every sense—personality.” (full article: filmjournal.com)
 

REVIEW: Next Magazine

“Before Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny or even the reigning queen of drag, RuPaul, there was Divine, the fat best friend of John Waters who turned his love of bad movies and outrageous personality into something that would capture the world.” (full article: nextmagazine.com)
 

REVIEW: Popmatters

(8/10) “There will never be another Divine. 25 years later and no one has come close to filling her infamous cha-cha heels. This documentary shows you why.” (full article: popmatters.com)
 

REVIEW: Slant

“If the portrait they all paint of their 300-pound teddy bear (that’s “teddy” in the Phil Petrillo sense) is indeed accurate, they may indeed be better spokespeople for his legacy than the shy, modest performer would have been himself.” (full article: slant magazine.com)
 

REVIEW: TimeOut New York

Three stars! “For the uninitiated, Jeffrey Schwarz’s docuportrait is a good primer on how this cinematic rebel helped make the world a safer place for outsiders.” (full article: timeout.com)
 

REVIEW: Boy Culture

“I Am Divine! is a pure pleasure, a fitting tribute to a gay icon.” (full article: boyculture.com)
 

REVIEW: New York Cool

“I Am Divine is a lovely tribute to an unconventional artist…It’s a portrait of a truly groundbreaking personality who redefined what audiences came to accept onscreen.” (full article: newyorkcool.com)
 

REVIEW: Baltimore City Paper
October 9, 2013

“It could not be more fitting that I Am Divine, the thoroughly absorbing documentary about the life of Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine, plays The Senator Theatre on Oct. 11, its first full day of operation after a year and a half of renovation.” (full article: citypaper.com)
 

REVIEW: Crave Online
July 17, 2013

“Not only does this documentary encourage the audience to engage with Divine’s life story on a historical level, it asks you to reconsider the image, gender/sexuality and performances of an individual whose gifts were more extensive than just being the “the filthiest person alive.”” (full article: craveonline.com)
 

REVIEW: Edge Los Angeles
July 9, 2013

“Fortunately, we have the legacy of Divine’s film work; and this fascinating, expertly directed, wonderfully paced, lovingly produced tribute documentary.” (full article: edgelosangeles.com)
 

REVIEW: An Online Universe (SFF)
June 4, 2013

(4 Stars!) “Divine will be remembered by many as that fearless performer who ate dog feces on camera in Pink Flamingo’s, but to the rest of those who knew and idolised him, he will be remembered as one of the sweetest and most generous people alive. I Am Divine wants to include you, the audience into that latter group, and introduce you not to an act, but to a man whose capacity for love far exceeded the attention he strived for.” (full article: anonlineuniverse.com)

 

REVIEW: Toronto Film Scene – Inside Out
May 28, 2013

“This documentary had me hooked from start to finish. It was impossible to look away, and I might have had a few tears toward the end. What I loved about I Am Divine is that it did justice to nearly every aspect of his life.” (full article: inside-out-review)

 

REVIEW: WBUR Boston
May 8, 2013

“Colorful, quickly-paced, if at times bordering on the tasteless, “I Am Divine” is a fitting tribute to a legend who crossed over to the mainstream.” (full article: wbur.org)

 

REVIEW: Baltimore Magazine

“To those of us from Baltimore, it sometimes seems that Divine, the plus-sized “cinematic terrorist” with the double-stacked eyebrows, freakishly receding hairline, and bad-girl-on-a-bender attitude, emerged, fully formed, on our movie screens” (full article: baltimoremagazine.net)

 

REVIEW: Edge Miami
April 29, 2013

“What really got me while watching “I Am Divine” was the way producer-director Jeffrey Schwarz so deftly mixed the celebratory aspects of the career of Divine with the personal agony of Glenn Milstead.” (full article: edgemiami.com)

 

REVIEW: I Am Divine is the must-see film at this year’s DOXA

I Am Divine is the ultimate documentary for those that grew up in the 80s and those that are discovering what it means to be Divine for the very the first time.” (full article: gayvancouver.net)

 

REVIEW: Tuscaloosa News
April 22, 2013

(3 stars) “As a fan of Waters’ films, it’s hard not to like “I Am Divine.”” (full article: tuscaloosanews.com)

 

REVIEW: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
April 13, 2013

“Through all the footage we will see a fearless, fabulous and sometimes filthy person who took giant risks in underground culture and made us dare to be what we are sometimes scared of being, ourselves.” (full article: cltampa.com)

 

REVIEW: Buzzine

“With rich interviews and a clear labor of love from Schwarz himself, the expose hits all the right marks without preaching. Flashy, fabulous and fun to watch, I Am Divine is like a ‘70s roller disco, where old friends reunite, and new fans can learn more about the elusive, fearless, and never, ever dull Divine.” (full article: buzzinefilm.com)

 

REVIEW: Bitch Magazine
April 11, 2013

“Director Schwartz illustrates the evolution of Divine’s career from the underground Baltimore beginnings to being a drag superstar, accomplished actor, and disco queen. In doing so, Schwartz shows the great influence that Divine’s career opened up for modern drag performers.” (full article: bitchmagazine.org)

 

Review: Artforum
April 7, 2013

Artforum reports from the London Lesbian & gay Film Festival. “With well-crafted documentaries on Vito Russo and Jack Wrangler already under his belt, Schwarz’s prowess as a historian can’t be underestimated, and I Am Divine expertly hit the right tone: emphatic hilarity” (full article: artforum.com)

 

REVIEW: Orlando Weekly
April 3, 2013

5 Stars! “…laugh-out-loud funny and eminently quotable.” (full article: orlandoweekly.com)

 

Review: New Statesman
March 28, 2013

“Divine is someone who has been absorbed into the collective consciousness of filmgoers raised on the trash fantasies of John Waters. He’s become almost cosy. So a film like this is important in disinterring the star’s image, talent and legend. It made me fall in love with Divine all over again.” (full article: newstatesman.com)

 

 

REVIEW: Variety
March 22, 2013

SXSW Bites: Snap Judgments on 11 Fest Pics. “Interviews with Milstead’s mother lend emotional resonance to this slick package, assembled by EPK samurai Jeffrey Schwarz.” (full article: variety.com)

 

REVIEW: True View Reviews
March 20, 2013

4 stars! “Schwarz does some excellent work presenting a fascinating, insightful and stylish portrait of not just the performer, but the real person underneath.” (full article: trueviewreviews.com)

 

REVIEW: PopMatters
March 15, 2013

“Director Jeffrey Schwarz didn’t disappoint with this funny and touching documentary about the life and career of Harris Glenn Milstead, better known to the world as Divine, the muse of iconic director John Waters and one of the first divas of gross-out cinema.” (full article: popmatters.com)

 

REVIEW: Criterioncast

“Director Jeffrey Schwarz, with interviews ranging from Rickie Lake to John Waters, creates a breathtaking and touching portrait of two people inside the same body. From the tough childhood of Glenn Milstead to the groundbreaking rise of Divine, I Am Divine is as touching an artistic portrait as you’re bound to see.” (full article: criterioncast.com)

 

REVIEW: Gay Times

“This lovingly crafted documentary celebrates that complexity and creates a resource for anybody interested in a module on fabulousness. All in all it’s a divine offering – because, of course, it’s all about Divine. Something tells us she’d approve.” (full article: gaytimes.co.uk)

 

REVIEW: The Hollywood Reporter
March 14, 2013

“The Bottom Line: Entertaining doc is sweeter than expected and will be an eye-opener for young fans.” (full article: thehollywoodreporter.com)

 

REVIEW: Film Threat

“The film definitely reminds this viewer of the unstoppable force of Divine’s commitment to what he stood for to so many people. Screw body image. Screw traditional leading men or women ideals. Screw good taste. Divine was going to do what Divine wanted to do and in an era of so many celebrities who market analyze their personalities to appeal to the most potential Twitter followers, it’s refreshing to be reminded of an entertainer who carved his own path through the bullshit.” (full article: filmthreat.com)

 

REVIEW: Slackerwood.com

“I can think of little better praise for I Am Divine than the fact it elevates Divine to the status of a true hero, who endured pain and mistreatment but found success through talent, hard work and perseverance. Schwarz’s documentary takes on a life of its own, and the viewer is drawn into the life and experiences recalled by his subjects as they share intimate details of Divine’s life.” (full article: Slackerwood.com)

 

REVIEW: Film Pulse

“Although Divine had such an interesting and enthralling story, up until now there hasn’t been a proper documentary made about his life.  Thankfully that’s no longer the case, as I Am Divine should be considered the only true and definitive biography.” (full article: FilmPulse.net)

 

REVIEW: Midnite Ticket
March 13, 2013

I am Divine is top notch as far as production is concerned. Director Jeffrey Schwarz and his talented team have crafted a great film and an even greater tribute. The material is briskly paced and maintains a formidable momentum through the entire runtime.” (full article: midniteticket.com)

 

REVIEW: Hitfix
March 12, 2013

“Affectionate, informative and genuinely entertaining, “I Am Divine” may not tackle a hard-hitting social issue or illuminate some long-buried injustice, but as a talking heads documentary about an artist’s work and life, it’s… well… divine.” (full article: hitfix.com)

 

REVIEW: PlaybackSTL
March 11, 2013

“Schwartz has a real gift for making his subjects come alive. Vito, which he made for HBO, was one of my favorite films of last year…I Am Divine is one of the most fun documentaries I’ve seen in years. Schwartz chose his film clips well, and assembled an excellent cast of interview subjects, including Waters, of course, but also Divine co-stars like Ricki Lake, Tab Hunter, and Mink Stole, all of who seemed to have both admired and enjoyed working with him.” (full article: playbackstl)

 

REVIEW: AICN: Capone finds the doc I AM DIVINE, about the John Waters’ regular, anything but a drag!!!

“The new documentary I AM DIVINE pulls together the most complete portrait of Milstead and his struggles with weight, sexuality, and archaic definitions of beauty I’ve ever seen. Consider this a perfect companion piece to the 1998 Waters-centric doc DIVINE TRASH, and you’ll start to see the complete picture of one of the most memorable and influential actor-director teams of their time.” (full article: aintitcool.com)