Hide and Seek (1997)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental, Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Gender Issues  |   Release Date - May 31, 1996 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 64 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Independent experimental filmmaker Su Friedrich (Damned if You Don't) mixes interviews, archival educational film clips, and a fictional narrative to explore the experience of sexual awakening in Hide and Seek. The women Friedrich interviewed are lesbians, who describe childhood experiences in which they first became aware of their sexuality. Friedrich intercuts these varied anecdotes with unidentified childhood photos and home movie footage. In the film's simple narrative, a young girl, Lou (Chels Holland), on the verge of puberty, discovers that her close relationship with her girlfriends is taking on a new significance for her. Lou fearlessly plays with the boys, but finds herself growing shy around her best friend. Set in an early time period (the early '70s seems likely), the girls spend their days in school, watching "educational" films about the inappropriateness of some childhood fantasies, and spend their nights at sleepovers where they dance to the Supremes. Lou seems relatively happy. As one of the interviewees notes about her own happy childhood, "The fact that I didn't know I was a lesbian really made it easier." Friedrich directed and edited the film from a script she wrote with Cathy Nan Quinlan. The film was shot in black-and-white by Jim Denault (Boys Don't Cry).

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Keywords

adolescence, lesbianism, love, sexual-awakening