Skip to main content

RUTHIE AND CONNIE: EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE

USA, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Deborah Dickson

Unlikely radicals, these two Jewish grandmothers relate how a longstanding friendship as wives and mothers turned into a passionate, long-lasting love affair. Singularly unselfconscious on camera, Ruthie and Connie shine for their honesty and courage to do what feels right in the face of suburban humbug. Observational scenes from their domestic life reveal a touching ordinariness in their preoccupations and candid exchanges, while remonstrations with family and friends belie the determination of these two staunch lesbians.

Their reflections on coming out and the pain of failing family expectations are intercut with scenes of the various roles they now play in New York's gay and lesbian community. A student guidance counsellor for the New York City Education Board, Ruthie took a stand for lesbian civil rights, suing for the same health cover and dental care entitlements for her partner, Connie, as are accorded married couples. Facing down the scorn of coiffured, middle-class womanhood on the Donahue Show that dealt with the case, the measure of the pair is reflected in Ruthie's defiant assertion, "the laws are against me, I will not keep quiet".

Deborah Dickson is an independent filmmaker who has been making award-winning documentaries since 1988. Her credits include Francis Steloff: Memoirs of a Bookseller (1988), Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse (1997) and Lalee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, which won top honours at Sundance 2001.

See also...

ALMOST ELVIS

'Images of Elvis', the pinnacle of the Elvis impersonator's art, a cutthroat competition staged in Memphis to determine the worlds finest 'Elvis' (almost). This cheeky documentary, loaded with ... More »

CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS

"Capturing The Friedmans ran away with this year's Sundance Grand Jury prize for best documentary and deservedly so. An engrossing, troubling and, in the end, profoundly ambiguous re-examination of a ... More »

GIRLHOOD

In 2002 Liz Garbus packed a cinematic whallop MIFF audiences won't soon forget with death-row documentary, The Execution of Wanda Jean. Girlhood focuses on the opposite, but no less lethal, end of ... More »

THE BACKYARD

A no holds barred investigative documentary that lifts the (garbage can) lid on the brutal world of backyard wrestling. A cable TV phenomenon that grew into an underground industry, backyard ... More »

STEVIE

Steve James (director of the international hit basketball doc, Hoop Dreams) first met Stevie Fielding in 1982. James joined the 'Big Brother' programme to mentor a hyperactive and difficult ... More »

SEX: FEMALE

What's on the mind of the woman next door when it comes to sex? A couple of a dozen women representing a rich variety of ages, ethnic and economic backgrounds, and sexual preferences go public with ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director