DIRECTOR: Damon Cardasis
2017 | USA | 81min
Life is not easy for Ulysses (Luka Kain), who is a shy teen struggling with gender identity and being bullied at school. After the unexpected death of his father, his home life becomes difficult as well when his strict, religious Aunt Rose (Regina Taylor) arrives to take charge of the family. Rose won’t tolerate disobedience and certainly not crossdressing, after she discovers Ulysses trying on his mother’s stockings and red high heels.
Fortunately, Ulysses finds sanctuary on the piers of New York’s West Village when he meets a trio of transgender women: Ebony (Mj Rodriguez), Dijon (Indya Moore), and Heaven (Alexia Garcia). This queer “family” includes the sensitive — and cute — Raymond (Marquis Rodriguez), who eyes Ulysses with appreciation. Saturday Church is the drop-in center they frequent, an inclusive gathering space, which also hosts the fiercest voguing event in town.
As Ulysses’ life begins to change, the tone of Saturday Church transforms as well. While embracing his newfound identity, he will have to confront the closed-mindedness of his family at home.
Compared to a cross between Moonlight and La La Land, Saturday Church is a queer coming-of-age story that celebrates the Trans community of color.