Synopsis by Nathan Southern
First, a note of explanation: a "bear" in the gay subculture refers to a homosexual man with exaggerated masculine qualities -- notably a hairy chest -- who shuns effeminate gay behavior. Each February since 1992, the Mr. International Bear Contest has transpired in San Francisco, with the contestants competing against one another for the title of top bear. Former music-video director Marc Klasfeld helms the documentary Bears -- a headfirst plunge straight into the heart of this gay subculture. Klasfeld begins with a glance back at the first such competition, from 1992 (with an extended on-camera appearance by winner John Caldera), then travels to the 2006 competition for a visit with several of the participants -- including reps from San Francisco, Kentucky, New York, and other areas -- and documentary coverage of the event itself.
competition, homosexual, subculture