Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Celluloid Reflections

by Stacey Prince

The first time I saw my identity as a lesbian woman reflected on film, it was a revelation. It was in Boston, about 23 years ago, the movie was Desert Hearts, and I was sitting way in the back (because the theater was packed) with my girlfriend at the time. I started crying about half an hour into the movie, and pretty much didn’t stop. It wasn’t so much anything about the movie itself (those of you who have seen it know it is not a cinematic masterpiece) but the experience of seeing my own identity reflected on that giant screen was so profound, I couldn’t contain my emotions. I wept with joy, with pain at the uncertainty of it all (I had come out to myself, but not yet to my parents or extended family) and with gratitude.

Last night, watching A Serious Man with my partner and two friends, I had a very different experience. The movie is the Coen Brothers’ latest, and is the first where they have delved deeply into their own Jewish identity, which has been only referenced in their previous films.

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