Get me out of here! Revelation Film Fest’s queer cinema reviewed

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options for Joey (Lolo Kirke) who has just graduated from high school in AWOL (★★★★), directed by Deb Shoval. Selling ice-creams at the local amusement park gives her some pocket money but this is a long way from fulfilling the ‘American Dream’ promised in all the good country songs. Her pregnant sister is living at home with her boyfriend and wants to turn her bedroom into a space for the baby.

Good at fixing cars, Joey manages to be recruited by the army but just as she begins her training, she meets the older Rayna (Breeda Wool) who is married with two small children. The title gives away where the narrative is heading as the two women’s passion for each other leads them to plan an escape from the small country town. The big question is – how far can they get given the mounting obstacles?

AWOL brilliantly portrays the naivety of first love even though Joey’s grandmother warns her against taking up with those ‘tomboy types’. Passion tries to defeat pragmatism in this superbly crafted film that shows the bleak choices that sometimes need to be made in order to survive.

Directed by Darren Thornton, A Date for Mad Mary (★★★★) is a beautifully lyrical Irish film. ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle (Seána Kerslake) has anger issues and has just been released after 6 months in prison for losing her temper. While it’s quite a tough journey for Mary, who lives with her mother and grandmother, to come to terms with her demons there is plenty of dark humour.

Mary’s best friend, who she has known since third grade, is getting married and she a bridesmaid. Mary desperately searches dating sites for a plus one (a nice fella to match her dress) for the wedding while trying to write her chief bridesmaid’s speech. As she fluctuates between getting her life together and raging out of control, it becomes obvious that she will not be able to flourish in the confines of her small provincial town. Meeting Jess (Tara Lee) at least confirms her sexuality but working in McDonald’s is not enough to give her any hope for the future.

Darren Thornton takes the audience to his home town of Drogheda (just north of Dublin) in this love story with a twist. They will fall in love with Mad Mary as she struggles to find herself and there will be tears when she reveals the tenderness underneath her angry armour.

It’s Not Just Me (★★★★★), directed by Western Australian Jonathan Messer, documents the journeys of four young Perth people as they embark on the process of transitioning from female to male. This incredibly intimate film shares the lives of David (26), Max (25), Simon (25) and Logan (21) for between a day and a year. Struggling to find their places in the world, they all need to get out of the confines of their birth gender.

Simon is just starting the process and Max transitioned 4 years ago. Logan, who decided to transition 3 years ago, actually filmed himself for 4 months using a GoPro. All the journeys are different in this brave and intimate film that shows rare insights into the challenges and rewards of transitioning genders – for the people involved as well as those surrounding them.

Check out the interview with the director and some of the cast of It’s Not Just Me here.

These three LGBTI films are in the Revelation Perth International Film Festival which runs from 6th to 19th July. Go to for program details, locations and session times.

Lezly Herbert

Support OUTinPerth

Thanks for reading OUTinPerth. We can only create LGBTIQA+ focused media with your help.

If you can help support our work, please consider assisting us through a one-off contribution to our GoFundMe campaign, or a regular contribution through our Patreon appeal.

Become a Supporter→     Make a contribution→ 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,