Passion Delayed, Justice Fulfilled: Watch ‘Congo Cabaret’

Written by | Screen, The Lens

The most powerful force in the universe is possibility. Your mind races with scenarios as you stare at the handsome stranger perched at the other end of the bar, a connective string of smoke entangling you into one another’s respective webs. There is nothing sexier than a suggestive glance, because what lingers behind the eyes is pure potential.

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Like the vast majority of #americans, even #africanamericans, the cast of #congocabaret was unaware of a #queer presence during the #harlemrenaissance. In this montage of behind-the-scene clips, @karenobilom, @darrylstephens, and @iamrussellr talk about their discovery of the #queerharlemrenaissance. LEARN MORE (LINK IN BIO) . . . . #queerharlemrenaissance #claudemckay #africanamerican #africanamericanliterature #lgbtq🌈 #1920s

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These are the dynamics behind the award-winning short film Congo Cabaret. Directed by real-life husbands Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield, the intoxicating narrative plays out in a basement speakeasy circa 1926. Handsome heteros flex for attention from their female companions, but bristle when some unapologetically gay men arrive.

Sexuality is as fluid as the gin that flows freely through every frame of Congo Cabaret. The locals refer to the club owner as The Wolf because “he eats his own kind.” Ms. Congo Rose exudes sensuality, even as she covets same-sex guests of the provocative pub.

You can feast on the delicious atmosphere of this sumptuous production. Congo Cabaret brings the Harlem Renaissance to lascivious life. The audience is so fully immersed in the complexities of the era that at any moment, one might expect Langston Hughes to emerge from the gauzy haze to compose an empowering verse and commemorate the scintillating festivities all around him.

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Conventions get tossed out with the wash. No straight man can tame Ms. Rose, nor should they even dare try. She is played with femme ferocity by Marvel alum Parisa Fitz-Henley. Her hunky cast mates include Nic Few and Russell Richardson as the unsuspecting breeders ensnared into an LGBTQ lair light-years ahead of its time.

Kevin Daniels adds bite to the proceedings as The Wolf, leering and loving with reckless abandon.

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“A Twinkie away from disaster”

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Congo Cabaret thrilled audiences at Outfest and now, it is enticing your eager fingers to click the link below. You are about to be transported to a liberating realm of frank romance and shattered taboos… can you handle the heat? Douse your doubts with a hearty shot of whiskey and press PLAY – you know you want to.

Last modified: September 30, 2020