Wojnarowicz: F**k You, F*ggot F**ker’: Chris McKim’s Documentary of the Gay Village Artist

Chris McKim (‘Wojnarowicz: F**k You, F*ggot F**ker’)

Chris Mckim
Courtesy of Patrick McPheron
Chris Mckim

McKim’s poignant documentary on the life and times of gay East Village artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) reflects the sociopolitical climate of the 1980s, while remaining relevant today.

McKim, whose producing credits include Freedia Got a Gun (2020), Out of Iraq (2016) and RuPaul’s Drag Race series, was drawn to his subject after Donald Trump’s election to office.

“The artist’s keen observations of corruption, greed and hypocrisy in his lifetime could’ve just as easily been said at any point over the last four years,” says McKim of the film that was released by Kino Lorber in March.

“Throughout his journey, he constantly challenged himself and his work to speak truth to power. David’s life was a constant call to action, which became the message of the film.”

The filmmaker used Wojnarowicz’s audiotape journals and extensive personal archives to build the film from the sound out, without talking heads. “That opened a world of creative opportunities,” he explains. “I never expected David’s archive to be as deeply personal and intimate as it was. Creatively, it was blessing and privilege to spend so much time listening to his hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties, stumbling through life as we all do and trying to make work that matters.”

Indeed, McKim’s docu often relies on the same mixed-media techniques that the artist himself had used.

Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro was a big influence on the film, as well as works by Harmony Korine, Gregg Araki, Jane Campion, Luca Guadagnino, Alfonso Cuarón, Wong Kar-Wai and Marlon Riggs.