A shy 14-year-old from The Bronx struggles along with his sexual id in “Saturday Church,” an indie attempting on a number of identities of its personal: Is it a musical? A gritty coming-of-age drama? A fictionalized narrative about an LGBTQ neighborhood within the West Village? Sure to all, however beneath the beneficiant debut path of Damon Cardasis, there’s sufficient coronary heart and uncooked reality right here to uplift the moments that falter.
Ulysses (Luka Kain), shamed at dwelling for attempting on his mother’s heels and bullied by the jocks in school, finds kindred spirits in a bunch of younger transgender girls (trans actresses MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore and Alexia Garcia) on the Christopher Avenue pier. They take him to the titular church, the place organizer Joan (trans activist and writer Kate Bornstein) runs a soup kitchen, secure area and vogueing rehearsal space.
It’s a queer fairy story, one through which Ulysses more and more drifts into musical fantasies. His starry-eyed ballad with love curiosity Raymond (Marquis Rodriguez) is a excessive word, as is a locker room quantity the place the imply youngsters develop into Ulysses’ backup dancers; his mother (Margot Bingham) provides an “I settle for you as you might be” ballad that’s, whereas heartfelt, a bit Hallmark-cardy.
However Ulysses’ descent into homelessness resulting from a vengeful fundamentalist aunt (Regina Taylor) cuts to the fact confronted by too many queer and trans youngsters — a handful of whom are proper right here in Cardasis’ movie, making their approach from Saturday Church to the large display.