Chokehole: Drag Wrestlers do Deutschland

One hot summer night in New Orleans a drag collective staged wrestling night. They dressed up as their vibrant alter-egos, and proceeded to beat the living daylights out each other while the audience collectively lost their shit. That night, Chokehole was born. This documentary follows Chokehole as they take the show to Germany, sharing the stories of cast members as they grapple with racism, gender conformism, queer identity and America’s suppression of the arts.

The film depicts the artists both with and without drag, sharing their larger-than-life and theatrical alter egos while displaying the unique vulnerabilities that lie behind the character. This film explores their loud, vibrant personas alongside their heart-breaking personal stories, and the adversity they’ve had to overcome to be accepted in the US. As the documentary progresses, we learn how each character copes with love, sex, transitions, post-trauma, and socioeconomics while offering a glimpse into their fantastical, vivid world… which is as much an escape for the artists as it is for the audience.

“Chokehole: Drag Wrestlers do Deutschland” is the story of how disenfranchised, queer performers defeated all the odds to make a compelling theatrical show


Director: Yony Leyser
Sound Recordist: Adrienne Teicher & Kathryn Fischer
Editor: Ruth Schönegge
Sound re-recording mixer: Cornelius Rapp

Selected Festivals

  • New Orleans Film Festival
  • Chicago Underground Film Festival
  • Outfest
  • San Francisco Documentary Film Festival
  • Festival of Nations
  • Revelation International Film Festival Perth