Strike a Pose
In 1990, seven young male dancers - 6 gay,1 straight - joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare, they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour, when they were ambassadors to the world on behalf of the LGBT community during the height of the AIDS epidemic. STRIKE A POSE is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.
"Most who saw the 1991 documentary Truth or Dare, which followed the on-and-offstage culture of Madonna's “Blond Ambition” tour, will likely recall the male dancers who threw themselves into the fierce choreography, spotlighting vibrant male sexuality at the peak of the AIDS crisis. Filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan's Strike a Pose reflects back on that sensational and sometimes controversial tour, catching up with six of those surviving dancers today (we also learn about a seventh member, Gabriel Trupin, who died of AIDS in 1995). The result is an entertaining and insightful look at these iconic performers a quarter-century after their brief time in the limelight, with some surprising details about the aftermath of “Blond Ambition.” Madonna herself does not appear here, except through a generous sampling of footage from Truth or Dare, and the documentary largely consists of a series of interviews with the former dancers, who have (to varying degrees) aged fairly well, some having dealt with drugs and alcohol, and a couple coping with being HIV positive. Familiar faces Luis Camacho and Jose Gutierez (veterans of the vogue-ing scene that Madonna celebrated in song), hip-hop dancer Oliver Crumes III (the only heterosexual in the group), and Carlton Wilborn are among those we hear from and see reunite for an evening of—what else—a game of Truth or Dare. More surprising is word of the lawsuits that three of these dancers brought against Madonna following “Blond Ambition.” Not every memory here is a happy one. Extras include additional interviews. Recommended." - T. Keogh, Video Librarian
- "A perfect love song by Gould and Zwaan to the exceptional men those boys turned out to be."
- " A loving, honest portrait of these men who were world-famous for a bright moment, and most importantly, what happens after the limelight goes away."
- " A superb look at the meteoric rise to fame and the eventual plummet that can often follow."
- "The smartly assembled film makes points that resonate in a world where fame is increasingly ephemeral and life after the celebrity window closes can get awfully cold."
- "The filmmakers and performers show great maturity in refusing to settle scores or spill secrets."
Awards & Recognition
Jury Prize: Best LGBTQ Film, Key West FF (2016)
Teddy: Best Documentary Film; 2nd place: Panorama Audience Award Best Documentary Film, Berlin Int'l FF (2016)
Best Foreign Music Trailer, Golden Trailer (2017)
Top 20 Audience Favorites, Hot Docs Canadian Int'l Documentary FF (2016)
Golden Athena: Music& Film, Athens Int'l FF (2016)