Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Edie and Thea are two young women who came to New York in the 1950s and found love. They shared their lives together, became engaged, travelled, loved, grew old, marched for gay rights, and suffered from homophobia. Eventually, with Thea in a wheelchair, dying, and Edie a still beautiful 80 year old, they got married. Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir (THE BRANDON TEENA STORY, later fictionalised as BOYS DON'T CRY) have created a moving and powerful hour long documentary about the couple, and through them, the political times they lived through. The women are refreshingly frank about sexual attraction. They speak candidly about setbacks - familial disapproval - getting kicked out of Sarah Lawrence - being kicked out of anti-Vietnam protests for making the war marchers "look bad". But they also speak candidly about dancing together, good sex and love. By asserting their normality - by making them rounded and human, the film-makers give greater power to the question of why Edie and Thea weren't allow to take their love to its "normal" conclusion - marriage. And this makes for a far more affecting argument that any barnstorming polemic could've been. This sort of insight and subtle investigation is exactly what documentary film-making is all about.

EDIE & THEA: A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT played a couple of festivals including the BFI LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL 2010. It was released on DVD in November 2010.

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