Thank God I'm a Lesbian
1992 Directed by Laurie Colbert, Dominique Cardona.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., June 24, 1994
With wit and style, the title makes it perfectly clear where this Canadian documentary is coming from. Essentially a talking heads documentary, the film cuts between approximately one dozen women speaking their thoughts on a variety of subjects. Representing a range of ethnicities and backgrounds, the women are all articulate and forthcoming. They voice their individual opinions on a variety of topics: coming out, bisexuality, S&M, the relationship between the feminist and lesbian movements, outing, racism, and more. The filmmakers intercut these statically shot interviews with external footage of illustrative photos, news clips, and other historical footage. What emerges is a diversity of opinions and feelings that challenges the notion of there being a lesbian party line or group-think. The primary thing shared by all these women is their happiness and comfort in their lesbian identities and how that is essential to their establishment of positive self-images. Yet the movie reflects contradictory opinions and a multitude of personal experiences that makes it clear that the only thing all these women have in common is their happiness as lesbians. Two other short films are included on the program with the nearly hour-long Thank God I'm a Lesbian. Rosebud by Cheryl Farthing is a British drama about a young artist's voyeuristic attraction to the open sexuality of a lesbian couple in her building. Soon she begins to fantasize lesbian images everywhere and eventually acts on her desires. With concise imagery and lovely camerawork, the movie manages to make this woman's desire palpable. The other short is a comedy by Betsan Evans Morris called Came Out, It Rained, Went Back in Again. Starring Jane Horrocks (Life is Sweet), this British piece is a funny take on a day in the life of a woman who suddenly sits up in bed one morning and declares, “I'm gay.” Not knowing what to do, she heads for swinging London and spends the day encountering stereotypes and self-fear. It's spun with great humor and charm. Both shorts gracefully complement the documentary.