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To My Women Friends

Directed by Natasha Sharandak
1993
Russia, German
64 mins

In the 1993 feature-length documentary To My Women Friends, revealing interviews with six Russian lesbians convey the joys and hardships of having been a lesbian in the former Soviet Union. The six women are interviewed separately, but splices of party/meeting scenes show a vital and strong community. While Tatjana speaks hesitantly about her sexuality, believing it to be a private matter, Muchabat charmingly flirts with the filmmaker. This fascinating documentary touches on a range of issues including women's prisons, LGBTQ+ community organizing (the Wings Association, a lesbian group), coming out, and homophobia. The film also addresses laws in the former Soviet Union which threaten imprisonment, blackmail, government harassment, and family rejection.

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