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Like any big occurrence—Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 or the Challenger explosion in 1986 (or any other huge event in one’s lifetime)—I remember where I first saw the 1991 documentary “Madonna: Truth or Dare.”
I was living in my home state of Indiana, and while I’m not sure how much influence the film had on me, it was ironically the same year that I came out of the closet.
Did Madonna and this film, directed by Alek Keshishian, help me see that it was OK to be myself and come out of the closet? Since I don’t recall the exact date when I came out, it’s possible that it did send me a positive message that I wasn’t getting from other films or television.
What I do know is there was something not only about Madonna’s freedom in her music and how she lived her life—which were big parts of the film—but also about the inclusion in the film of many of her dancers, who were mostly gay men. We saw them at New York’s gay pride parade, being flamboyant and not caring as well as, in one scene late in the film that I remember elicited groans from the audience in that Indianapolis theater, two men passionately kissing.
Like so many things we all see when we look back as influential moments in our respective lives, “Madonna: Truth or Dare” definitely meant something to me at a time when I was just learning that it was all right to accept who I was and, hopefully, be able to share that person with friends, family and anyone I met along this journey of life.
This month marks the 25th anniversary since the film’s release and it holds up pretty damn well. The film came out at the height of Madonna’s fame when she ruled the pop and dance charts, and had also appeared in popular films like “Dick Tracy” with her then-lover Warren Beatty (who appears in “Truth or Dare”), and a year before one of her best roles in “A League of Their Own.”
But when we look back, it was Madonna’s music and her persona that will be remembered, and “Madonna: Truth or Dare” encapsulates so much of both. Shot in black and white, except for the colorful and vibrant concert sequences, the film is a marvel and, lucky for you, is available to watch now with XFINITY On Demand.
Here is the trailer from the film:
Want more Madonna? Check out the many additional titles in the XFINITY library.