Like Freddie Mercury, around whom the new Queen biopic revolves, Iona Italia is Parsi; and, like him, she’s more than that. Her review in Areo Magazine says interesting and true things about the film, about our strange, sad politics, and about personal reinvention:
[I]n general, the film tells a different story and it’s one which we seem to have forgotten in this age of identity politics, in which we so often depict racial heritage as the most important element of a person’s being. The movie provides a salutary reminder that this has not always been the case: that belonging to an ethnic minority used to be less a badge of pride than something to be overcome. But not necessarily in order to conform to some majority culture, not to whitewash, pass or hide one’s roots out of shame. But to transcend such narrow categories as irrelevant.
It’s especially tempting, then, for me, as a fellow Parsi, to claim some kind of ownership over Freddie, some special connection to him, some esoteric ability to understand, some kind of shared credit for his gifts. But that would be both irrational and narrow minded. The important thing about Freddie was not some arbitrary DNA he shared with a tiny population. The important thing was his appeal to our shared humanity. He can’t be contained within the fenced-off category of Parsis. As Malek puts it, he’s the representative of everyone who resists being categorized: “When you ask him in interviews, he often says I’m just me, darling, I’m me, no boxes, no labels. He’s fucking Freddie Mercury and that’s all that fucking matters.”
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