History Lessons is an experimental documentary that re-examines lesbianism from 1896, the year the cinema emerged in history, to 1969, the year of the Stonewall Rebellion, an uprising that became a decisive moment in the formation of the American gay and lesbian movement. Since the early days of cinema, lesbianism became a major issue in medical research, science, police reports, popular culture, and entertainment. This documentary represents, reappropriates, and reconstructs these images and texts from the past, combining them with live performances.
Just as other works by Barbara Hammer, History Lessons is full of images that celebrate, praise and valorize lesbianism To Hammer, it is a monument of extraordinary warriors with pride. (Kim Seon-A)
Barbara HAMMERBarbara HAMMER
Barbara HAMMER is an internationally recognized film artist who has made 80 films/videos making a significant contribution to lesbian and gay cinema. Her experimental films of the 1970’s often dealt with taboo subjects such as menstruation, female orgasm, and lesbian sexuality. In the 80’s, she used optical printing to explore perception and the fragility of 16mm film life itself. Her documentaries tell the stories of marginalized people who have been hidden from history and are often essay films which are multileveled and engaging audiences with the goal of activating them to make social change.