STOLEN MOMENTS (1997) [Feature]

Canada (MIFF 1998 , Documentaries)
Director: Margaret Wescott

Stolen Moments is perhaps the most significant and encompassing cinematic document of lesbian oppression and identity today. The film's relevance moves beyond the lesbian community to embrace broader questions affecting gays, transgender persons and all people affected by queer issues.

Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Margaret Wescott has woven together disparate yet significant threads beginning with the salvaged fragments of Sappho's lyric poems. In vibrant detail, Wescott rediscovers the exotic cabarets of pre-war Berlin, the luminous saloons of Paris and the butch/femme clubs of 1950s America. Juxtaposing lesbian history, Wescott intersperses scenes including Dykes on Bikes, motorcycling mamas in New York's Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade and the symbolism of the pink marble triangle at Amsterdam's 'Homo Monument' to queer survival. These bold images are interspersed with personal comments from contemporary lesbians including Olympic athlete Betty Baxter, stand-up comic Georgia Ragsdale and writers Nicole Brossard, Joan Nestle and Leslie Feinberg. The final result is a brave document which places contemporary queer culture and life into a broader, more empowering, perspective.

"Memory is the theme of this film. I wanted to honour those who came before us and stood on the front lines. The film attempts to create an awareness of the pain and struggle that has transpired. We learn history from our grandparents. I'd like this film to be a sort of 'lesbian grandmother'." - Margaret Wescott

"A powerful, fast paced film narrated by actress Kate Nelligan which is sure to set a new standard among lesbian auteurs. Stolen Moments is at its most powerful as a historical testament to those women who refused to be silenced by oppression." - female fyi

Margaret Wescott has been involved with the National Film Board of Canada since the 1960s. In 1984 she made Behind the Veil: Nuns, a film documenting the history and achievements of nuns dating back to the early pre-Christian Celtic communities. The documentary caught the attention of Hollywood filmmaker Norman Jewison, who hired Wescott as a consultant on his feature, Agnes of God (1985).

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