In 1944 war raged across Europe. Turmoil reigned throughout the world and America lived in fear and sorrow as the stories of ethnic cleansing and city destruction became our newspaper headlines.
I start with this as my prelude to answering the question “Why support women and lesbians creating films when our world is in such chaos?” History reveals that some of the most memorable films and life changing films have been created at just those chaotic and frightening times. In 1944, the following films shown above were released (just to name a few).
I think of my mother, the inspiration for the character of Rose in my film LOUISE. She often spoke of the escape that films provided when the world around her was filled with uncertainty. She and her newly wed friends sang along with Judy Garland, found faith with Bing Crosby, laughed with Cary Grant, sat on the edge of their seats to find out “who done it” and, yes, explored the lesbian subtext in The Uninvited.
Films take us to places we have never been and open up our hearts and minds. We see ourselves in characters. A film makes us laugh, cry, cheer and quiver in fright. No matter how much we may think they don’t impact us, they do. And we need films now that take us to magical places, family stories, love stories, educational wonder, and musical escapism.
When the world feels like it is 90% tragedy, see a film, eat a box of popcorn and laugh loudly or cry like you’ve not cried before. Go to film festivals, stream new releases or re-visit films of the past. Films can change you.