When Divine died from a massive heart attack in 1988, he left behind an archive of his talent. I Am Divine , directed Jeffrey Schwarz, is a retrospective of the performer’s life through the memories of those closest to him. The documentary explores Divine’s transformation into the muse behind everyone’s artistic dreams and nightmares alike. I Am Divine shows a chronological tale of Divine’s inspiring and dark ascent to fame as a beloved drag queen, film actor, and singer. Through grainy, raw, and mesmerizing footage of Divine, the documentary focuses on what he was definitely born to do: entertain.
This documentary had me hooked from start to finish. It was impossible to look away, and I might have had a few tears toward the end. What I loved about I Am Divine is that it did justice to nearly every aspect of his life. Divine’s raw talent was evident by the end of the documentary because everyone in the film had something to say about it. Instead of focusing on the crudeness of his work, the film emphasized how beautifully Divine could execute misunderstood characters. Schwarz created an impressive storyline by interweaving anecdotes of Divine’s personal life, including his lavish and generous tendencies. By the end of the movie, I felt as though I knew who he was because he seemed like a genuine friend to everyone he met.