Alaska may be a drag, but writer/director Shaz Bennett’s film is a delightful mash-up of genres under candy-coloured Alaskan skies. Part drag extravaganza, part boxing film, part gay coming-of-age, Alaska Is a Drag tackles everything from internalized homophobia to cancer with a mix of grittiness and fantastical flourishes. Leo (a charismatic Martin L. Washington Jr.) must juggle as many issues as the film has genres, slogging through his days at a fish cannery while fending off a past lover’s violent repression and supporting his twin sister (Maya Washington) through her chemotherapy. Then there’s the mother who left, the gay preacher father, and the enigmatic affections of Declan, the new boy in town. Oh, and Leo also needs to win a boxing match and a drag competition in the same day. Good thing there is comedian Margaret Cho’s friendly bartender, Jan, and martial artist Jason Scott Lee’s caring boss and boxing coach, Diego, to guide him along the way. Through Bennett’s deft touch, the film’s many parts cohere into a charmer that rejoices in the strength of femininity and friendship. – Michael Belcher
An invitation to discover the scenic world of a young drag queen from Fort William who lives with glitter and love.