Synopsis by Rebecca Flint Marx
Despite the title and subject matter -- men wearing dresses and a truckload of makeup -- this is not another entry into the increasingly crowded drag oeuvre. Instead, it is Philadelphian Max L. Raab's loving documentary about the Mummer's Day Parade, a tradition as unique to Philadelphia as the cheese steak. Weaving together archival footage, numerous interviews, and personal insight, Raab's documentary looks at both the parade and those responsible for it: ordinary, working-class people who devote themselves year-round to organizing the parade. Raab speaks with marchers, their family members, musicians, and organizers, all of whom have interesting tales to tell about the Mummer tradition and the loving ordeal of putting on one of the year's most fabulous parties. First screened publicly at the 2001 Hamptons International Film Festival, Strut! won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature; it later enjoyed a similarly enthusiastic welcome in Raab's hometown at the 2002 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.
big-city, celebration, music, parade, self-expression, surrealism, tolerance, tradition, working-class