TV & Film | Entertainment News
This year's Outfest QTBIPOC Fusion Film Festival showcased a bevy of queer-centered short films, feature films, and documentaries.
One of the standouts from the festival is “Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn” an emotionally charged documentary that follows the journey of openly queer politician Malcolm Kenyatta during his 2022 United States Senate bid in Pennsylvania.
"Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn," is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based director Tim Harris who previously worked with Kenyatta on the 2018 documentary “Going Forward”. Ahead of the film's premiere, Harris expressed his excitement for its debut, and thanked Kenyatta for allowing his story to be captured on film.
"At 32 years old, this is just the beginning for Malcolm. Likewise, I hope that this is just the beginning for our film and that Malcolm's relentless passion and willpower can activate future leaders from marginalized communities for generations to come," Harris said.
In addition to the directing talent of Harris, The Today Show’s weather anchor Al Roker and Seven Knots Films had a hand in executive producing the documentary. In a press release for the film, Roker said he couldn't think of a better subject than Kenyatta to center a documentary on.
“Malcolm Kenyatta offers hope to so many, especially those that have had their voices silenced due to societal inequality. His energy is infectious and his message is powerful.” Roker said.
He continued saying, ”I am honored to profile his courageous, never-back-down fight to make Pennsylvania a better place."
While political documentaries are not an unchartered territory, Kenyatta's life-story and unprecedented political triumphs as a young black queer man set this film apart. Early on in the documentary viewers learn about Kenyatta’s political successes such as his historic win which helped him become the first openly gay person of color to join the Pennsylvania state house.
One of the film's biggest takeaways is Kenyatta’s struggle to make a mark with voters within Pennsylvania. In the film, he is seen walking the streets of impoverished communities in the state. In one scene he visits Braddock, Pennsylvania where he introduces audiences to the then-mayor of Braddock, Chardae Jones.
While many of Kenyatta’s toughest moments on the campaign trail are shown in the film viewers are also treated with softer moments such as his relationship and engagement with now-husband Dr. Matthew Jordan-Miller.
All in all “Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn” is a game-changing film for representing the extremely personal plight of politicians who make up one or more marginalized communities.
Within the film, we are constantly met with tough realities that come with not being the status quo in politics. Commentary from Kenyatta's campaign team, actress Tichina Arnold and director Lee Daniels helps follow this dynamic politician on the rise.
This is a conversation we will continue to have as we watch the demographics in the U.S. change within the next few decades and see more diverse candidates appear during political races.