Magazine article Herizons

Stolen Moments

Magazine article Herizons

Stolen Moments

Article excerpt



Stolen Moments is a wonderful film, as much an exploration of lesbian history as a celebration of current day lesbian life. Director Margaret Wescott (of Behind the Veil fame) has pulled together an amazing tapestry of past stories and images, and woven them with current day events and analysis to provide a rich and evocative portrayal of lesbian experience.

While Western and mostly white in focus, Stolen Moments nonetheless is wide reaching in its grasp. The film took years to make and, says Wescott, time and budgets required that parameters be drawn. From the opening shots of feisty motorcycle dykes leading the New York Gay Pride Day parade to poignant images of a plaintive musical tribute to lesbians killed during the Holocaust, Stolen Moments tells the story of both the tragedy and the triumph of lesbian existence across the ages. ``We learn history from our grandparents," says Wescott. "I'd like this film to be a sort of 'lesbian grandmother'."

It wasn't until the 20th century that words existed to describe romantic and sexual love between women. Lacking the language to describe their feelings and sexuality, some of these women in bygone centuries found it logical to think of themselves as men and consequently lived as such, often courting and marrying women along the way. If found out, some faced devastating consequences, even execution for their "crimes of passion."

That is maybe not so radically different from the repressive days of the 50s when butch and femme alike lived in "a world of pain and criminality" according to Joan Nestle, founder of the New York-based Lesbian Herstory Archives. …

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