Queerly Beloved:
Desert Hearts

Donna Deitch

Donna Deitch







91 mins

Queerly Beloved: Desert Hearts

Set in 1959, the bold and beautiful film Desert Hearts follows uptight New York professor, Vivian Bell, as she heads west to Reno to get a divorce. While staying at a ranch for divorcing women, she meets Cay, a free-spirited sculptor whose reputation precedes her. One thing leads to another and before you know it, director Donna Deitch becomes the first lesbian director to have a sex scene between women viewed by general movie theatre audiences. When speaking about raising funds for the film, Deitch stated that: “In San Francisco I sold it as politics. In New York as Art. In LA I convinced them it would be a box office hit.” Thirty-five years after the film’s premiere, all three remain true.


Queerly Beloved is presented in partnership with Paradise.

    • Deitch takes lesbian cinema back to its future.” Armond White, OUT Magazine
    • “Deitch’s direction was inspired and deliberate.” B. Ruby Rich, Criterion
    • Named one of the best lesbian films of all time by IndieWire

Sat Mar 28, 2:00 pm

1006 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

Curatorial Partners

Government Funder

Inside Out, Canada’s largest LGBTQ film festival and the single largest promoter and distributor of LGBTQ content in Canada, along with the newly restored historic Toronto cinema Paradise Theatre, are proud to announce a partnership on a new film series entitled ‘Queerly Beloved’, ahead of Inside Out’s upcoming 30th anniversary festival taking place May 21-31. The cinema series, running during March 2020, will showcase eighteen (18) independent and influential queer films at Paradise Theatre, all of which have played an important role in shaping the history and narrative of queer cinema, and challenge norms of gender, sexuality, and desire through storytelling.