Jewel’s Catch One looks back at the scene-making Los Angeles gay disco, “Catch One” and it’s owner, Jewel Thais-Williams. For more than forty years, Thais-Williams operated one of the most lauded clubs in the city’s history. As one interviewee puts it, Thais-Williams is “an honored elder, superhero to the Los Angeles community” who came up against tough odds: “Not only was she poor, not only was she a woman, she was a lesbian, and she was a black one.” ‘
The documentary follows Thais-Williams from her days as a freshman club owner, through the AIDS crisis, the celebrity nineties, and into the aughts. While Jewel’s Catch One, directed by filmmaker C. Fitz, is a documentary cut from an established stylistic cloth, Thais-Williams and the community she has long nurtured make the film shine. Fitz pairs archival footage of Catch One in the glory days with a wide range of interviews of Thais-Williams friends and queer family. The result is a warm, heartfelt film that tells a critical story of perseverance.