Home Movie (1973)

This first work by Jan Oxenberg (Thank You and Goodnight) is frequently cited as one of the first lesbian feminist films. Speaking over home movies shot by her parents, Oxenberg wryly reflects on her traditionally “girly” childhood, juxtaposing these memory images with contemporary footage of political demonstrations and an all-female football game.

Home Movie was released when the women’s movement and lesbian feminism were changing the world. It’s been shown around the world and is known to many women who were first coming out during that era. It’s both a historical artifact and a personal story of coming out, which is timeless. Jan wrote, “I was in film school when I made the film. I didn’t know many reviewers so I asked my mother for a quote for our poster. She was not very happy with my recent announcement about my sexual orientation. But, she pitched in, ‘Home Movie is sensitive and well-made. I think my daughter Janis a very talented filmmaker. And I hope she’ll go on to some other subjects.’ I did not… My next two films were lesbian centered. But Mom came on board being supportive. And I have had a twenty year TV career in which I’ve written about a lot of other subjects, but always consistently found opportunities to tell stories about women’s issues, lesbian and gay themes. We hear so much about the gay movement. But almost nothing about the specific journey of lesbians, and lesbian feminists – which created community for women while changing the world in profound ways.”