Director Sara Jordenö was invited to join the inner circle of Twiggy Pucci Garcon and Chi Chi Mizrahi, two star performers in the Kiki scene, for a documentary.
Jordenö, a Swedish native, spoke to Filmmaker Magazine about creating a film about a tight-knit community as an outsider, “I had a lot of trepidations [about the project]. Even though I’ve lived in the U.S. and feel like I’ve become Americanized, I was concerned about how to make a very nuanced portrait of people who share a very different reality than mine. Even though I’m a queer person and didn’t have an easy life, I can’t claim to have been at risk, whereas many people in the Kiki scene do have a claim on that. There’s a risk for them just by existing, walking down the street, facing police harassment, and so on. That hasn’t happened to me because of my white privilege. So the only way we felt comfortable with the project was if Twiggy came on as co-writer, which happened right at the beginning. It would have been impossible to make this film without Twiggy.”
For Jordenö it was also important to be authentic and not cliched, “We really didn’t want this stereotypical portrait because there are so many stereotypes already attached to so many of the people in this community. We wanted to try and tell a different story, but I’ve been very nervous. When we showed it at Sundance and for the German audiences here, I kept wondering whether people got it. I feel that there are a lot of nuances and an advanced political discussion in the film that we’re used to in the Kiki scene, but that’s not in the mainstream yet. When I read the reviews though, I feel as though people get it. And this is mostly because of the people in the film. When they speak, people listen.”