Official Selection 100' - 2022 - Documentary, LGBT+ - Dialogue: English
Director: Sébastien Lifshitz With: Katherine Cummings, Diana Merry-Shapiro, Betsy Wollheim, Gregory Bagarozy
After Bambi and Petite fille (Grand Prix for Best Film in 2020), director Sébastien Lifshitz sends another moving message from the trans community. This time he digs up a fairly unknown American history.
Not in New York City, but deep in the American countryside at the foot of Catskills in an old Victorian house, a sexual revolution took place in the 50s. What would later be known as Casa Susanna was a sanctuary for cross-dressers. Susanna herself said that the target audience was heterosexual men (who regularly brought their wives). But Casa Susanna shows us more than that. Director Sébastien Lifshitz interviewed visitors Kate and Diana, now in their eighties, who refer to the place as a refuge for anyone who questioned their gender. At the time, they could barely talk about it. what the two of them remember most is the joy of being able to be who you really are in a safe space. The meetings would continue into the 1960s. Lifshitz illustrates this story with a lot of unpublished and excellently preserved archive material.
“In the 50s and 60s, deep in the American countryside, a small wooden house was home to the first clandestine network of cross-dressers. Diane and Kate are now 80. At the time, they were men and part of this secret organization. Today, they relate this forgotten but essential chapter of the early days of trans-identity.” - Unifrance
Katherine Cummings, Diana Merry-Shapiro, Betsy Wollheim, Gregory Bagarozy
Director of Photography
Countries of production
United States of America, France
Il faut que je l'aime (short, 1994), Claire Denis la vagabonde (1995), Open Bodies (1998), Cold Lands (1999), Come Undone (2000), The Crossing (2001), Wild Side (2004), Les temoins (2006), Jour et nuit (short, 2008), Going South (2009), The Invisibles (2012), Bambi (2013), The Lives of Therese (2016), Adolescentes (2019), Little Girl (2020), Sensitive Boys (2021), Bambi, a French Woman (2021), Casa Susanna (2022)