A distillation of a single 12-hour interview in a room at the Chelsea Hotel with the charismatic Jason Holliday (“real” name Aaron Payne), a gay, African American cabaret dancer, part-time hustler, and full-time raconteur, Portrait of Jason grows from a moving, fascinating monologue testimonial to something still thornier and deeper, both a confrontational standoff between Holliday and filmmakers Clarke and Carl Lee, poking holes in their subject’s storytelling, and an inquiry into issues around representation and the privileged gaze of the camera that upends many still-prevalent assumptions in documentary filmmaking. “Transfixing, troubling, immensely powerful… a rocket ship into the future of gay liberation.”—Mark Harris, Film Comment

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