The editing between the interviewees, footage of various matches, and older clips/interviews is also excellent. For primarily being a talking heads piece, the documentary is rarely dull, as each person presented is articulate and engaging. While not strictly linear, the film starts as early as possible and tries to hit a few major events each decade, showing how things got better or worse for LGBTQIA+ wrestlers.
That isn’t to say Out In The Ring is without fault. On occasion, Scooter McCrae’s music is too overbearing, drowning out the dialogue. This is most significant in the very beginning, as a ring announcer is saying something, but the score makes it a little difficult to make it all out. While it is largely absent after that, the sound mixing overemphasizes the music again every once in a while.
“…will resonate on at least one level…”
When the various wrestlers willing to sit down and discuss their stories are introduced, the text states their names and preferred pronouns. This is a wonderful touch to be inclusive and ensure everyone involved feels safe and seen. Oddly though, it does not include if they are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, an advocate/ally, or what. Scott McEwan, whose wrestling person was Sgt. Dickson is prominently featured, and his knowledge of the sport’s history is truly phenomenal. He puts a lot of the early years and its big draw names into the proper context. Great, awesome. But is he an LGBTQIA+ member, or is he here due to his extensive historical knowledge?
Similar things can be asked about AC Mack and Ashton Starr. The two are pretty fun in their interview, but what are they? As African-Americans, are they there to help showcase how marginally represented BIPOC is, especially those who are LGBTQIA+? Are they either or both of them trans, non-binary, or something else? There’s not enough context to know.
Out In The Ring is an engaging and exhaustive look at why and how representation matters. Thanks to its important message, excellent interviews, and compelling narrative structure, the documentary is an absorbing watch even for non-wrestling fans. Representation does matter, and Levey expertly highlights why.
Out In The Ring screened at the 2022 Cinequest Film Festival.
"…representation does matter, and Levey expertly highlights why."