Synopsis by Nathan Southern
During WWII, Jewish stepsisters Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore gained notoriety and made headlines time and again - not simply because of their unapologetic, quasi-incestuous lesbian involvement with one another, but thanks to their subversive anti-Nazi operations. Originally fixtures in the Parisian avant-garde during the 1920s, Moore and Cahun moved together to the Channel Island of Jersey, off the Normandy coast, as the war set in. Astonishingly, they somehow managed to retain security and immunity from capture in the face of the building Nazi threat - until their pamphlets appeared, urging a mutiny of Axis militiamen. The siblings were condemned to execution by the Gestapo, but achieved liberation via local government assistance and intervention; Cahun died in 1954, Moore in 1972. With her film Lover Other: The Story of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, avant garde documentarist Barbara Hammer (History Lessons, Resisting Paradise) recounts the lives of Moore and Cahun; as the base of her film, she intercuts photographer Cahun's abstract self-portraits, documents and sketches by Moore, period archival footage and newly-shot interviews with the sisters' still-living colleagues, who recount in detail the siblings' judicial arraignment.Hammer uses the story for a protracted thematic exploration of the artist's sociopolitical obligations, and filters that subject through the twin contextual lenses of photography and lesbianism, as well as the historical lens of the Nazi occupation of France.