Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives

Aerlyn Weissman & Lynne Fernie
1992 | 1 h 24 min
This film contains scenes of nudity and/or sexuality. Viewer discretion is advised.

This feature documentary delves into the rich history of Canadian queer women’s experiences in the mid-20th century. Compelling, often hilarious and always rebellious, the women interviewed in this film recount stories about their search for the places where openly gay women gathered in urban centres. Contemporary interviews, archival footage, and a stylized fictional narrative based on the pulp novels of the 1950s are woven throughout this simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and empowering film. Forbidden Love brings an important and empowering history of lesbian sexuality in Canada out of the closet.

Awards and distinctions

  • Public Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary - with a cash prize of 20,000FF given by le Conseil général du Val-de-Marne
    Festival int’l de films de Femmes, Créteil
  • Best Documentary
    International Film Festival, Durban
  • Honorable Mention - Category: Documentary
    International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Torino
  • Honorable Mention for Direction (Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie)
    Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax
  • Award of Excellence for Editing (Cathy Gulkin, Denise Beaudoin)
    Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax
  • Genie Award for Best Feature Length Documentary
    Genie Awards, Montréal
  • GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Film
    GLAAD / Media Awards, New York
  • GLAAD / L.A. Media Award for Outstanding Independent Film (Lesbian)
    Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation / GLAAD / L.A. Media Awards, Los Angeles