DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! details the origins and history of Lesbian-themed filmmaking, noting that Lesbians didn’t always get to see themselves on screen. But between Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, they built visibility and transformed the social imagination about queerness. Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film.
This feature-length documentary covers the history of queer cinema from the early days as a marginalized sub-culture to the 1990s, which saw the rise of New Queer Cinema, up to the present. The film examines the ways that women directors have contributed to this genre and emphasizes the role that the media plays in representation of sexuality and gender, underscoring the power that film has to shape our perceptions of one another. Visually, this documentary comes to life on screen through compelling and intimate original interviews intercut with emotionally charged archival footage, photographs, ephemera, inspired music, and film clips.