Five Docs To Watch

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

D: Brett Whitcomb

Director Brett Whitcomb follows up his tribute to mechanical dancing animals, 2008's The Rock-afire Explosion, with another trip into cultural arcana: the legendary Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the world's first all-female TV wrestling promotion. As with the name of their TV show, the gorgeous came before the wrestling, with aspiring actresses signing up to become wrestlers and creating a ground-breaking show by accident. Whitcomb and the wrestlers portray GLOW as a mixture of retro-camp and inadvertent feminism: Much like Barry Blaustein's Beyond the Mat, GLOW breaks kayfabe, the wrestling code of silence that keeps everything backstage secret. Smarks (wrestling slang for savvy audiences) may get a little frustrated with how little GLOW grapples with the history of women's wrestling. Yet it pins the audience to the canvas when the wrestlers explain how the broken bones and ripped tendons were worth it – not for the moments in the rings, but for the community backstage.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 9:30pm, Alamo Village; Sunday, Oct. 21, 3:45pm, Alamo Ritz

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