Biography, 1 hr 28 min
Outitude is a heartfelt documentary that attempts to get to the core of what it means to be lesbian.
The testimony is often heartfelt, insightful and occasionally gut-wrenching, with participants offering generous insight into their lives and struggles.
Outitude (2018) explores what lesbianism means to various women and non-binary people across Ireland. Through these personal accounts, it also explores what it means to be a queer activist and a feminist in Ireland throughout recent history.
The testimony is often heartfelt, insightful, and occasionally gut-wrenching, with participants offering generous insight into their lives and struggles. Stories shared in this documentary are an asset to oral history of LGBT life across Ireland and an important documentation of our collective history. As a standalone piece, the narrative structure can sometimes be hard to follow, but it does boast engaging accounts of lived reality which have previously been undocumented. There is a range of eclectic, enigmatic stories from women with a dry wit and insightful considerations into questions of identity and belonging. This would be further enriched by the inclusion of more trans voices and voices of women and non-binary people of colour.
The reference to a wider history exists insofar as they intersect with the participants’ personal accounts. For this reason, the wider context may be confusing, particularly for those without some background knowledge of Lesbian and/or feminist movements from across Ireland. In saying that, the documentary provided a range of resources for further reading, so it serves as a good jumping off point for those who would like to learn more.
Outitude covers a plethora of issues, dancing between the personal and political. It seemed at times that there was a desire to cover everything, meaning it was difficult to get to the root of the issues women were discussing. This may come from a feeling of responsibility on part of the filmmakers, due to a lack of previous representation. Indeed, the filmmakers first came up with the idea at the Dublin based LGBTQ+ film festival GAZE. They felt that there was a gap in representation, seeing little about the history of lesbians in Ireland – seeking to make that film. After the film’s release in 2018, they came full circle and proved their feelings were not unique, winning the Audience Award after the screening at the very same festival. It’s evident that there is a need for wider representation of LGBTQ+ women’s stories from across Ireland, and Outitude is a thoughtful beginning.
The strength of the film lies in the forthcoming nature of participants to discuss personal accounts of being lesbian in a changing Ireland. I would have liked to have seen more diverse perspectives getting to the heart of a more focused question, but the broad nature of the topics sparked my interest to look further into the issues. Outitude is a useful watch for anyone with an interest in the history of our community and the nature of progression towards equality.
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