McQueen is a compelling, feature-length documentary that chronicles the extraordinary life and career of the late designer Lee Alexander McQueen, who tragically passed away at his London home eight years ago. Directed by Ian Bonhote, who has crafted films for Matthew Williamson and Hussein Chalayan, the film follows a feature biopic (which is still under production) and a London play about the renowned fashion designer. The documentary first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, and now it’s coming to Dubai.
Showing on Friday, September 28 at Cinema Akil, which is situated in Warehouse 68 in the bustling artistic hub of AlSerkal Avenue, the screening of the film is exclusively brought to the Dubai and the UAE by Cinema Akil. The screening is hosted in collaboration with Front Row Filmed Entertainment, the independent cinema’s co-founder and managing director Butheina Hamed Kazim tells Vogue.me. “The film is incredibly intimate, it’s illustrious, honest, and just spectacular on par with his work. I think it’s one of the hardest things as a director to to present a compelling documentary about such an enormous character, and do it with such strength,” Kazim adds.
The 111-minute film features different chapters of McQueen’s life and career through exclusive interviews with his family and closest friends, as well as footage from some of his most memorable fashion shows. McQueen takes viewers on the designer’s journey from an East End teenager who would go on to succeed John Galliano at Givenchy, up until the moments and the events that led to his untimely passing nearly a decade ago. “His life is really worth celebrating,” notes Kazim. “We at Cinema Akil are committed to presenting such cinematic wonders. Such important documentaries that act as something of a litmus test of our time and the larger industry, and we endeavor to continue to do this,” she adds.
The documentary will be part of a larger opening program being presented at Cinema Akil. It’s punctuated by a 1969 feature-length film entitled The Color of Pomegranates by Sergei Parajanov, a renowned Armenian filmmaker. Next, in late October, the independent cinema will screen Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, a Sophie Fiennes-directed documentary about the iconoclast singer. “These three films are being presented together at Cinema Akil and speak dramatically about our programming and what we’re trying to bring to the UAE audience,” explains Kazim.
Tickets for McQueen will be available for purchase on September 28. The Cinema Akil space accommodates up to 130 people, meaning seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Founded in 2014, Cinema Akil is an independent film initiative that aims to bring lesser-known motion pictures to the United Arab Emirates. Past screenings include a biopic of the late Tupac Shakur All Eyez On Me, Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and cult-favorite Breakfast at Tiffany’s.