'P.S. Burn This Letter Please' Doc Spotlights Pre-Stonewall Drag Culture
By James Dinh
June 16, 2021
Documentary feature P.S. Burn This Letter Please spotlights a box of letters that was held in secret for almost 60 years, unpacking NYC's LGBTQ+ scene way before the famed Stonewall Riots.
The official Tribeca Film Festival Selection offers a five-year exploration surrounding the notes, which were written by a group of New York City drag queens as they depicted their struggles in simply being themselves. In an era when staying true to your identity meant breaking the law, the scene is described by the former drag queens who are now in their 80s and 90s. Utilizing original interviews, never-before-seen footage and photos, as well as some recreations, P.S. Burn This Letter Please gives the power back to its castmates as they get to tell their stories in front of the cameras — even though they're years from their former selves.
"It took years to track all the people down. We even used a private detective to locate a few of them," director Michael Seligman said of tracking down the film's subjects. "And once we got in contact, it took months of conversations before several of our subjects agreed to be filmed. Many them didn’t feel that they had anything special to say or add to the story… but after the interviews, they were all ultimately grateful for having the opportunity to share their experiences and know that they would be saved for future generations. They are the last of their generation and we are lucky to have captured their stories when we did."
P.S. Burn This Letter Please is currently available to stream on Discovery Plus.