Hot Docs 2015 Review: Gayby Baby
While there may be a generation stuck egregiously, offensively in the past, it looks as though there is a bright, savvy, and determined future generation set to make a difference.
Four Australian children of same-sex marriages are the focus of the outstanding Gayby Baby, and these youngsters are far more worldly, aware, and insightful than is to be expected. While the doc opens with angry voices on the radio denouncing same-sex marriage, what gives way is an intimate, beautiful, funny, and earnest documentary free of politics and vitriol. The four youths are the focus, and while they get time to talk directly to the camera, no one else does.
Each of them is fascinating, and you are by their side as each struggles with a rather typical childhood; lacking is sensationalism. Gayby Baby presents these families as they are, seeking to show both the familiar problems they may face as well as the unique ones.
The stoic Ebony practices singing to get into a private school, while dealing with a brother who has seizure fits and two mothers working hard to pay bills. Matt questions his mother’s faith that states same-sex marriage is a sin. Graham meanwhile struggles to read and write after never being taught before he was adopted at 5. Then there is the sassy Gus who loves wrestling so, but may be a distorted view of the world because of it.
All of them are incredibly captivating, both funny and mature beyond their years, surprisingly practical and accepting of the hardships around them. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising. They embrace the world for the good and the bad, and they propel this smartly crafted film into something exceptionally inspiring and genuinely heartwarming.