Emily Mody - Visible (Fairy Tales 2018)

Posted on Monday, May 28, 2018 at 08:00 PM

Visible (Fairy Tales 2018)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Visible directed by Max Arthur Mantle is a feature length documentary film. The film focuses on stories about oppressive and prejudice attitudes towards LGBTQ people in the Caribbean and how the individuals depicted, survived those experiences. The solution for all of the individuals featured in this film was to leave the Caribbean to find refuge in more accepting places. The stories cover any and all types of discrimination regarding sexual orientation and gender binaries. The film is loosely based on the director’s debut novel Batty Bwoy.

The topic of this film is very interesting and informative. I had no idea the level of violence that is faced by people who identify as LGBTQ in the Caribbean. It is so valuable to hear lived experiences from people who are from this part of the world. Education and awareness is the strongest implement for instilling change. Although, less prominent but still very relevant was the discussion regarding race. The level of complexities that occur when you are dealing with intersecting identities (ie. a person who is both Caribbean and identifies as LGBTQ) is a very important and interesting element to this film as well. One of the women interviewed describes her struggles with moving from the Caribbean to the United States. She explains that, in her experience, the Caribbean is one of the most homophobic places on earth but with that being said, the United States is one of the most racist places on earth.

One part of our identity is not separate or distinct from another and the director does a very good job of illuminating these complexities. It is important to note that this film belongs to the accounts that are archived within it. The camera work is simple and unobtrusive, mainly shot in the “talking head” style that utilizes a medium close up of the person relaying the information. There is some supplemental footage that is overlaid but it is minimal. 

I really struggle to find a film to compare Visible to. There is something so specific in it’s tone and style. It feels very educational and information driven. I suppose you could compare it to a documentary by Michael Moore, such as Bowling For Columbine or Fahrenheit 9/11, in terms of content, tone, and overall discussion of social problems. Visible is not nearly as confrontational in it’s style though. The audience never sees the filmmaker and the film is not meant to push a particular point of view in a forceful way. My understanding is that Visible functions to facilitate discussion and awareness.

If you have an interest in informative documentaries about LGBTQ culture and racial identity then this is definitely a film worth watching. Visible runs a total of 121 minutes. There is triggering content within this film particularly regarding the discussion of emotional and physical violence.

Visible will be screening as a part of 20th Fairy Tales Film Festival 2018 on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 at 9:00 PM at the Plaza Theatre.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.