Gay Old Times in the Moving Documentary Before You Know It
Formerly known lovingly as the "Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary," PJ Raval's Before You Know It dives into the lives of American gays of a certain age. Our entry points are three wildly different men: Dennis is an air force veteran now living as a retiree in Florida, where he speaks Klingon, enjoys dressing up like a lady, and, in some of the documentary's most moving scenes, explores life outside the closet on carefully chosen travels. Meanwhile in Harlem, Ty is a sixtysomething community organizer who's lived long enough to see the world change in ways he never dreamed of—Raval's camera is there the exact moment marriage equality passes in New York, and Ty's response is one of the many moments in Before You Know It that will make any sentient being misty. Finally, there's Robert, a sixtysomething man in Galveston, Texas, where he runs a gay bar and regularly performs in drag. Robert's the most stereotypical of the bunch, and brilliantly so, devoting himself fully to his role as the Big-Mouthed Queen Who'll Say Anything and Loves Everyone. It's a sharply emotional film that captures a woefully under-seen, endlessly watchable population.