CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Workhorse Queen’

Posted in CUFF 2021, Festival Coverage, Movies by - April 24, 2021
CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Workhorse Queen’

Every story is a history of the world. This is especially true with this documentary about Mrs. Kasha Davis, which is just as much about her story as it is the story of 2LGBT+ marriage in America. Of generations dealing with addiction, and of a little show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a show that Davis competed in. But let’s return to the gay marriage part, one that director Angela Washko depicts and curates through archive footage. This footage sets the foundation for, duh, an intimate film. It depicts scenes that viewers savor regardless of the emotional rollercoaster that comes after temporary fame.

The drag industry has a connection with the alcohol industry. It’s a connection latent or obvious, depending on who anyone asks on which minute. Drag queens do umbers and then tell their patrons to rush to the bar. Those queens sometimes get drink tickets as compensation, since money can’t sometimes be the payment. There’s an honesty in this documentary in depicting those connections. Both the archive footage and Davis’ interviews are part of that honesty. She reveals her struggles with her addiction to alcohol. And that her recovery is just one of the many things preserving her.

Workhorse Queen eventually closes the thread on Davis’ addictions, at least, on a functional sense. And it segues smoothly into the addiction she and we all have – work and its rituals. Archive footage gives way to contemporaneous ones. It follows Davis between All Stars 2, Hurricane Bianca 2, and the Drag cons in between. There’s a lot of her here looking her best in high definition only for a disorganized team to not lead crowds to her. With age comes wisdom, Mrs. Davis says. And this documentary captures a person who has wisdom, prudence, and heart despite of what life throws.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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