Fagbug is the name of director Erin Davies’ rainbow-painted Volkswagen Beetle. On March 28, she paid ODU a visit on her 58-day trip across the U.S. and Canada to share the vehicle’s peculiar history.
It all started in Albany, N.Y., when the beetle was simply painted gray.
One night, a stranger vandalized it with hateful epithets. The word “fag” was spray-painted in red on the driver side window and “u r gay” on its hood; all because of the rainbow sticker on the back window.
Davies was shocked, surprised and humiliated that someone would do this. She decided to leave the graffiti on her car for an entire year to advocate against hate and promote equality. After receiving questions non-stop from folks curious about the incident, she filmed her first documentary.
That film, “Fag Bug,” which was released in 2009 is now available on Netflix.
While at ODU, Davies gave a lecture to film students; something she doesn’t get to do often.
“People always ask about the experience and what happened in the places I went, but they don’t usually ask me about how I made the movie.”
She was excited to share with the students what it was like to take on a documentary.
“It’s actually very hard financially,” she said. “You just have to figure out creative ways to raise funds.”
Davies’ documentary film took 19 months to complete. She received the aid of trusted film editors and sponsorship from Volkswagen Group of America to pay for expenses ranging from gas to production of the film itself.
Since its release, “Fag Bug” has been screened at several human rights and film festivals throughout the country. Currently in the making is The film’s sequel, “Fag Bug Nation,” is currently in production and is set to release this year. After seven years of touring, Erin spends some time in the sequel without her colorful vehicle of equality and documents her pit stop in Alaska and Hawaii. Erin plans to continue her activism.
“The world is rapidly changing and people are growing more tolerant and accepting, but everywhere I go people still share similar stories, so that kind of gives me a feeling to keep going,” she said.
“Obviously, I’d like to see the world become a better place.”
by David Baah