Review: THE LAVENDER SCARE Is An Informative And Insightful Doc

FIRST IMPRESSION

The Lavender Scare is certainly a must-see for any fan of historical documentaries, offering a unique perspective on a well-known event.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

The Lavender Scare is a new documentary film directed by Josh Howard and narrated by Glenn Close. The movie explores the eponymous era in Cold War politics, in which LGBTQ individuals, particularly those employed by the United States government, were targeted and discriminated against unfairly.

This film does an excellent job of presenting a little known part of a well-known event (the Cold War) with a perspective that is interesting and often enlightening. The movie showcases multiple personal stories from people who were victims of this time period, and it is fascinating to see what they have to say, offering a unique snapshot of the era.

The film was also able to make the story into something more cinematic than it might otherwise be. Although systematic discrimination and oppression is certainly an important topic of discussion, watching a bunch of people get fired from their jobs isn’t necessarily what you would expect to be the plot of a movie. However, Howard places the events of the movie in the greater context of the Red Scare, in turn making the film feel far more exciting.

Ultimately, the movie’s main goal is to promote inclusivity and open-mindedness, but the film also contains plenty of other messages by which people can and should be inspired. For example, the perseverance which these people exhibit in the face of adversity is truly inspiring. It is hard not to be impressed by how these people held their heads high and continue to do so despite the risks they faced in so doing.

The runtime of the movie is quite short, especially for a documentary, clocking in at just over an hour and a quarter, which works in the favor of the film. Longer documentaries have a tendency to ramble, and as a result of this movie being significantly shorter, it doesn’t really have enough time to go on unnecessary tangents. That said, the film does have plenty of time to explore the subject material with adequate depth.

Glenn Close’s narration of the movie is solid but not entirely necessary. The people are able to tell their stories well enough, so her inclusion seems to be for little more purpose than having an established name attached to the film. Furthermore, even her voice isn’t particularly memorable. Sometimes, the narrator can make a documentary stand out, as is the case with Morgan Freeman and March of the Penguins. This movie does not have that benefit.

On a technical level, this film is quite well-done, if a tad traditional. The filmmakers do a good enough job of combining footage and interviews into a final product that will keep your interest more than enough to deliver the information and message. Perhaps a bit more creativity could have helped the movie land even better, but it works just fine as-is.

Overall, The Lavender Scare was a fascinating documentary. If you are interested in the Cold War, this is one you absolutely won’t want to miss.

The Lavender Scare opens in theaters on June 7 and airs on PBS on June 18.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

ALL IN: The Fight For Democracy – Full Movie | Prime Video

In honor of National Voter Registration Day, Prime Video is making ALL IN: The Fight For Democracy free to watch on YouTube for 24 hours. This documentary, from award-winning filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés, featuring Stacey Abrams, presents a timely examination of the often overlooked issue of voter suppression in the United States. Watch…

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Dark Reality of MMA (Promo) | HBO

It’s the dark, ugly reality of MMA. Fighters seeking an advantage cut drastic amounts of weight days before a bout, putting their lives at risk. Real Sports is all-new Tuesday, September 22 at 10PM on HBO and HBO Max. #HBO #RealSports Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Real Sports is television’s most-honored sports journalism program,…

The Governor Kills Hershel | The Walking Dead Classic Scene

Rick opens up to try and make peace with the Governor, who has Hershel and Michonne as prisoners. Watch Classic Scenes from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3U9Q0w53xM&list=PLP63B9XPsQt1LcCKwMK5sFVj7X0v0-KfN&index=3&t= Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TheWalkingDead #HershelGreene THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC Visit…

Get Ready for the 2020 Election w/ THE CIRCUS | SHOWTIME

The 2020 presidential election is nearing, Trump and Biden’s campaigns are in full swing, and THE CIRCUS has the coverage, interviews, and analysis you need as you prepare to vote. Watch new episodes on Sundays at 8/7c on SHOWTIME. Subscribe to THE CIRCUS YouTube channel: https://goo.gl/gfoZtd #SHOWTIME #SHOCircus Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib…

Star Trek Day 2020 | Jack Quaid Reveals What His Girlfriend Thinks Of Brad Boimler

Jack Quaid (Brad Boimler) may have loved seeing the finished first episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, but he wasn't as much of a fan of his girlfriend's joke. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks…

Good Morning, Verônica | Official Trailer | Netflix

A serial killer with no limits. A system full of flaws and several hopeless victims. Nothing will stop Verônica's in fighting for justice. Good morning, Verônica is coming on October 1st. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series,…

BTS: Rediscovering John Brown w/ Ethan Hawke & James McBride | The Good Lord Bird | SHOWTIME

Ethan Hawke and James McBride explore who John Brown was and what he accomplished in his life. Watch the premiere on Sunday, October 4 at 9/8c on SHOWTIME. #SHOWTIME #TheGoodLordBird Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: https://s.sho.com/1HbTNpQ Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: https://s.sho.com/33FGC1D Get more SHOWTIME: Follow: https://twitter.com/Showtime Like: https://www.facebook.com/showtime…

Charlie Gillespie Teaches You to Play “Bright” | Julie and the Phantoms | Netflix

Charlie Gillespie teaches you how to play the song "Bright" from Julie and the Phantoms! Watch Julie and the Phantoms, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80230548 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here