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