LESBIANA- A PARALLEL REVOLUTION
In the 1980’s, lesbian culture was flourishing in many cities and small towns across Canada, the United States, in Europe as well as in Israel and Japan.
LESBIANA- A Parallel Revolution tells the story of that movement through interviews with some key players of the time. They were activists, writers, philosophers, teachers, carpenters and nurses, trying to invent a different way of life centered on women. This movement was born out of the Feminist Movement of the 1970’s.
At the root of it all was the liberating feeling that women-loving-women was the source of their strength, that together they could live differently. By taking themselves and each other seriously, they could change themselves, and ultimately, change the world.
In the wake of the civil rights, the anti-war and the feminist movements, there was a groundbreaking wave of activism, both personal and political in nature, which changed the face of modern feminism. “A Parallel Revolution”, uncovers and re-members this rich and flourishing culture that was evolving in numerous cities and small towns throughout the western world.
This clandestine movement was based on a simple yet radical idea: invent a new way of life entirely centered on women. Many of the key players were already dedicated feminists, who had fought for years for the rights of women but did not feel welcome when they started to claim their lesbian identity. They discovered that their love for women gave rise to totally new and unique ways of understanding, loving and relating to each other and the larger world. A vibrant, productive lesbian culture came to life through those innovative lesbians, who created physical and cultural spaces in which to live, meet, discuss and organize this parallel revolution. They created literature, films, music, theatre and a new body of political and philosophical theory, inspired and strengthened by their radical analysis of the world that encompassed their reality.
This era of change and transformation lasted roughly fifteen years. From 1975 to 1990, numerous lesbian communities were established in diverse countries, riding the wave of a new collective consciousness based on women-loving-women. During the 1980's, there were thousands of lesbian books and magazines being published, as well as numerous public spaces where lesbians could meet and celebrate their culture: libraries, concert spaces, galleries, bars, and restaurants. This same period saw the development of many festivals established to promote and celebrate women’s culture. Since the 1990’s, many of these public spaces have disappeared. Women’s bookstores have closed and festivals folded to the extent that very few exist today.
“A Parallel Revolution” is a testimony to this unique moment in history when the lesbian movement was at its strongest and brightest. More importantly, the film is a tangible recording of this unprecedented historical moment, before modern queer and LGBT culture, where lesbians redefined the world according to their own values and vision. The film documents this unrecorded revolution and creates an important legacy for modern feminists and lesbians alike.
For the making of the documentary, “A Parallel Revolution”, Myriam Fougère took to the road, in much the same way she did back in 1984, looking for lesbian culture. Through interviews with lesbian visionary activists from Canada and United States, the personal and the political realities of that time come to life.