Last night, PJ and I watched Out of the South, a documentary about a group of gay men who were born and raised in the South and who have started new lives in Los Angeles as adults. Here’s the trailer:

I should start by admitting up front that we’re friends with the writer, producer, and director of this film, Jason Ball. Furthermore, PJ and I talked at some length with Jason about this project when he was just starting to work on it. It’s obviously a little difficult and weird to review a friend’s work, but I’ll give it a go nevertheless. I’ll try to be as objective as possible in my review, though I understand that objectivity is especially difficult in this case.

Even though Jason is a friend, I think I would have loved this documentary even if I didn’t know him. It’s fun, interesting, and insightful. The film’s goal is to explore these men’s visions of the South, which often seem romanticized, and their reasons for leaving it (whether they’ve romanticize it or not). The set up is that Jason and his partner Troy host a Sunday dinner in which they and their guests make dinner and then talk around the table. Jason then also interviews each of the guests to probe a little further into their stories. These conversations end up covering such issues as religion, rural prejudices, relationships with parents and grandparents, and the joys and difficulties of growing up in the South. They also talk a little bit about what it’s like living in LA.

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