- David Zak
ALASKA IS A DRAG and a darn good film too!
This film shows us a poor and run-down Alaska, with empty gay bars and lots of bloody fish guts. But Leo (Martin L. Washington Jr.) is fighting his many bullies every way he can, hoping to flee the trailer he shares with this twin. Writer-director Shaz Bennett surrounds him with a charming cast of characters and an excellent ensemble. It’s a little bit Rocky meets Kinky Boots, but it is a winning effort.
Maya Washington is terrific playing the twin who battles cancer and relies on her brother to pull her through. Despite glamorous aspirations inspired by the beauty queen mother who abandoned them to poverty, the twins dream of getting out and reuniting with her in LA. It won’t happen without a drag contest and a boxing match. An escape plan may take shape when husky-voiced Matt Dallas joins the crew in the cannery and becomes Leo’s sparring partner.
Cinetagrphyer Alison Kelly finds a lovely balance between the dualities of Alaska’s abundant beauty with the character's extreme poverty. I would have had fewer scenes in the fish house, but the point was well made.
Martin L. Washington Jr. carries the film on his funny and fabulous shoulders. I look forward to seeing how he leads the way with a new generation of diverse queer artists who have a great deal to say. And they say it snaps and style!
I found the film on NetFlix.