Rooted in the tropical underground of Los Angeles nightlife, WILDNESS is a documentary portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in the MacArthur Park area that has been home for Latin/LBGT immigrant communities since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish, the bar itself becomes a character, narrating what happens when a group of young artists creates a weekly performance art/dance party (organized by director Wu Tsang and DJs NGUZUNGUZU & Total Freedom) called “Wildness,” which explodes into creativity and conflict. What does “safe space” mean, and who needs it? And how does it differ among us? At the Silver Platter, the search for answers to these questions creates coalitions across generations.
WILDNESS first premiered at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and has been screened as an official selection at the SXSW Film Festival and as part of the 2012 Whitney Biennial. The screening at International House was organized in conjunction with the ICA exhibition First Among Equals.