‘Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives’ is an award-winning Canadian documentary, which explores the lives of lesbian in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
First released 20 years ago, the documentary is now celebrating its 20th Anniversary re-release and has been lovingly remastered in HD by the National Film Board of Canada.
Written and directed by Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman, the film is illustrated using of archival footage and interviews with 10 fascinating women.
Each woman discuss her experience of being attracted to other women, and how they pursued relationships in the repressive society. Their decision to be either butch or femme; the secretive and usually dingy bar scene and the women who frequented them. The women also described the relationships they had, how they began relationships with ex-girlfriends of ex-girlfriends, who in turn lived with each other. The trials of being in an abusive relationship.
These are both candid and riveting stories bring to life what it was like coming out (or being closeted) and finding community amid the homophobic backdrop of the era. Each woman talks about her life with frankness and humor, which is interwoven with this real-life history and dramatised romantic, pulp-novel-inspired tale of star-crossed lovers Beth and Laura.
“Whether they look like truckers or cowboys or sweet-faced grannies, the women seen in Forbidden Love have a shared sense of humor.”
The New York Times