Q Film: Donna

2022| TBC| 75 mins| /

Director: Jay Bedwani

Starring: Donna Personna

Donna Personna first hit the stage with the legendary Cockettes. Ecstatic lip-synching in San Francisco’s downtown bars is a far cry from Donna’s Baptist upbring in San Jose; now in her seventies, her siblings have never seen her perform or meet her authentic self.

The documentary begins when Donna is offered a chance to co-write a play about an overlooked episode in queer history, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, in which transgender women Donna knew stood up against police harassment. She writes a character to be played by a young transgender activist. Praised for her writing and emboldened by her new friends, she heads out of the city to be reunited with her sister, Gloria.

This revealing and uplifting film is beautifully observed by Bedwani and features mesmerising moments recalled by Donna in her emerging writer’s voice. Donna is a film that shows the strength that can be drawn from your community and proves: it’s never too late to find your métier and truly blossom.