In the 1970’s Lorenzo de Santis was ‘the only gay in the village’ in Bari an economical depressed port town in Southern Italy. Well, he was the only known homosexual at that time, and by all accounts he was so openly flamboyant that he probably made up for the rest of them still hidden in the closet. His rather curious life story is told in this new documentary by filmmakers Mariangela Barbanente and Antonio Palumbo who piece it all together with reconstructions with actors plus interviews with some of the locals who still remember him.
The effeminate Lorenzo who would dress rather outrageously often wearing items of women’s clothing to strut down the street defiantly screaming back some potty mouthed retorts to all the verbal abuse hurled at him. He would also flirt with all the men telling each one of them that they would soon run out of women, and then have to come to him for a good time. In fact the movie implied that several men took him up on the offer under the darkness of night.
He was much more comfortable hanging out with the women in his neighborhood which in this really intolerant period and city was the safest place for him.
Asides from being an out-gay man way before his time, his colorful life was otherwise quite unremarkable, and there are points in the documentary where beyond just pure curiosity, one wonders why in fact he was deemed interesting enough to have a whole film made about his life. It will surely interest the people in his old part of Bari, and some LGBT history buffs, but will more than likely fail to make any real impression on other audiences.