Belfast Film Festival

12th – 21st April 2018

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Desert Hearts

Directed by Donna Ditch

Desert Hearts

In association with Belfast Pride Festival 2017. Screening at 4pm & 6pm.

Based on Jane Rule’s novel Desert of the Heart (1964), Donna Deitch’s narrative feature debut centers on a burgeoning lesbian romance between libertine casino worker Cay Rivvers (Patricia Charbonneau) and repressed university professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) in Reno, Nevada in the late 1950s, a climate wherein being queer was…complicated. Deitch’s vision for Cay and Vivian’s nuanced onscreen relationship explores the tension inherent in a sheltered woman accepting her newfound sexual self.

The film broke the mould of how a lesbian love story could be represented on screen and remains as vibrant and intoxicating as it was when we first encountered Vivian, Cay and crotchety but well-meaning Frances. Desert Hearts is both a true lesbian classic and bold, sensual filmmaking. Emma Smart.