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Shorts: Lez Be Honest - DIY Social Conscience films of Catherine Gund

Fri Nov 17, 20:45

Film,Q+A, Hackney Showroom, £5

So often we search in vain for evidence of the queer women who have come before us, and these films are an incredible example not only of activist film from the recent past (although before some of you were even born), but an archive of some of the remarkable queer people protesting, cruising, loving and pushing the conversation in ‘90s NYC. 

Keep Your Laws Off My Body / 1989 / 13’
Intimate scenes of gentle sexuality and domesticity set to the mechanical cadence of a projector (evoking a feeling somewhere between the repetitive labour of a sewing machine and violence of a machine gun) are juxtaposed with images of police and sirens to highlight the alarming intrusion of America’s laws on queer people and women’s bodies in healthcare, sexual expression, and desire.

B.U.C.K.LE. / 1993 / 10’
Bargain, undress, caress, kiss, lick and entice with the women of New York's legendary Clit Club, which lit up the scene from 1990 to 2002. A lesson in cruising and busting a move, told with humour, affection and intimacy.

Cuz It’s Boy / 1994 / 14’
A rare time-capsule of the attitudes and opinions of queer women to ideas about trans-masculine identity and immediate reactions after the death of Brandon Teena.

LUST Plenary / 1994 / 9’
This sharp, funny introduction to the organisation and aspirations of the Lesbians Undoing Sexual Taboos conference in reaction to the essential need for a (missing) space for women-loving-women to discuss everything from fisting to cats. Still sound familiar?

DIVA TV: Like a Prayer / 1991 / 26’
One of several poignant pieces Gund made for DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activist Television) — this one focusing on an action by ACT UP and WHAM! (Women's Health Action and Mobilization) at a major NYC cathedral to protest the church’s position on AIDS, condoms, and reproductive rights. Featuring the unparalleled Ray Navarro as Gay Jesus, reporting live from outside the church. 

Total runtime: 69min

Followed by a discussion with director Catherine Gund

Find out more about the work at

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