Sponsored Project

Ruminations

Director:
Robert James
Producers:
Robert James, Nick Blond, Rudy Behrens

Born in late 1940’s Los Angeles as James Bartlett, we follow the turbulent life of a counter-culture and drag icon who would eventually become known as Rumi Missabu. As one of the founding members of the radical queer performance group, The Cockettes, Rumi leaves Hollywood a trained child actor and dives headfirst into the LSD fueled hippie culture of San Francisco. This lifestyle and a brief brush with celebrity leads to Rumi burning out and disappearing off the grid for decades. It isn’t until the mid 90’s that Rumi finally regains his identity and reemerges on the stage, both performing in and directing original dance pieces that embody the unhinged spirit of The Cockettes. However, Rumi’s health plummets and his art becomes increasingly difficult to produce while confined to a hospital bed. Faced with his own mortality, Rumi is presented with a newfound sense of urgency to leave behind a meaningful legacy. Ruminations is a gender crossing journey through underground history revealing the artistic spirit just below the radar of acceptable entertainment. Counter-culture heroes influence the future by crossing boundaries and laughing at all things sacred and conventional. Rumi Missabu, self-proclaimed male actress, exemplifies this important culture of the ridiculous.

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