Before You Know It | Chicago Reader

Before You Know It

With this documentary about three elderly gay men, director P.J. Raval aims to illustrate the struggles of LBGT seniors, but their assorted hardships—loneliness, waning health, financial problems—aren't exactly exclusive to the gay community, so the sociopolitical harangue, however well-intentioned, doesn't really hold water. The film succeeds mainly as portraiture, particularly when Raval focuses on the octogenarian Dennis. Broken by his decades in the closet, he openly contemplates suicide, his anguish and regret receding only when he's dressed as his female alter ego, Dee. His story, not uncommon among gay people his age, is devastating and beautiful, and more worthy of its screen time than Raval's politics are.

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