The most horrible things in the world are those that lie right in front of us, things that we have blinded ourselves from as a result of laziness and pride. This is something particularly true in the LGBTQ world, a fact that makes the art-reality film American Reflexxx absolutely horrifying.
What is it? A mixture of performance art, documentation of the differing psyches, and the manifestation of absolute true American horrors. The film follows artist Signe Pierce walking around a busy evening Myrtle Beach passageway, where she is filmed by Alli Coates. Pierce walks around wearing a reflective mask and overly sexy clothing. She and Coates do not talk but they walk around, silently “interacting” with people. This display of such open—yet closed—ness leads to passersby to freak out, tossing gender and sexual slurs at them building and building and building into an frightening explosion of hate based in ignorance, youth, and dumbfounded intolerance: it is fucking terrifying. Pierce basically gets beat up for just being her.
As a young gay dude who grew up in the South, not too far from where this was shot, I absolutely understand this. I never had anything as insane as this happen to me but I do remember being followed and called “snowflake” and “faggot” and more for just walking around, being me, not saying a word. And, obviously, the horror doesn’t come from the silence: it comes from the rising tension and despicable climax that comes from an outsider entering the in. Remember: nothing in this film is staged. Nothing. These are all real people—Real Americans.—being themselves.
Watch American Reflexxx below. And share it. It’s a fucking scary ass little movie that everyone should see.