Sébastien Lifshitz
France, United States | 2022 | 97 min
Swiss Premiere
Language : English
Subtitle : French

Hidden away in the Catskills Mountains, Casa Susanna was home to the first clandestine network of cross-dressers during the 50s and 60s. Illegal practitioners in a conservative American society, this is where Diane, Kate and dozens of others found a space of freedom and expression. Today, they tell their unusual and essential story.

In the 1950s and 60s, hidden in the Catskills Mountains, Casa Susanna was home to the first underground network of transvestites. Dozens of men and women would meet there at the weekend and during holidays, escaping New York City as well as a generally conservative society in which transvestites and transgender people were considered to be illegal. In this place, hidden from sight, these women could live freely, expressing what they wanted to be for a time, or forever. Sébastien Lifshitz, a leading figure of French cinema, has been exploring issues of identity in relation to LGBTQIA+ communities for over twenty years. Here, he records the memories of Betsy and Gregory, who were children during the time when people flocked to the countryside to join Casa Susanna, as well as the rare and precious words of Kate and Diana – now nearing the twilight of their lives – who experienced those auspicious times, and have lived as women ever since. Lifshitz’s kind-hearted camera records a story that almost sank into oblivion. An essential gesture in support of the vital struggles of our times, during which transphobic laws are taking centre stage in the United States.

 

Aurélien Marsais

Casa Susanna, 2022
Petite fille, 2020 
Adolescentes, 2019 
Les Vies de Thérèse, 2016
Bambi, 2013 
Les Invisibles, 2012
Plein sud, 2009
Wild Side, 2004
La Traversée, 2001
Presque rien, 2000 
Les Corps ouverts, 1997 

Trailer

Photography
Paul Guilhaume
Sound
Daniel SobrinoFanny MartinJeanne DelplancqFrançois Abdelnour
Editing
Tina Baz
Production
Muriel Meynard

Special Screenings

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