Short, 9 min
A sapphic short film, in fragments.
[This] solidification of Sappho’s memory in the 21st Century is what makes this film irrevocably special
It goes without saying that the pinnacle of lesbian historical thought is Sappho. Our Archaic Greek Poetess, whose home on the Island of Lesbos has been the namesake of the sexual identity for countless queer women throughout history. Her impact on literature, poetry, and lyricism has been invaluable to the way the world understands queerness, and Rebecca Shoptaw’s Girl, Sweetvoiced (2019) immortalises this impact onscreen.
The film uses Sappho’s poetry as a soft narration for the journey of two girls who meet at a bus stop, as they fall in love. Shoptaw uses repetitive, intimate close-ups to create a dreamlike sequence, which contrasts specific details with the haziness of what it feels like to fall in love. In short, Girl, Sweetvoiced is an outstanding depiction of a queer love story. Furthermore, the casting in this film truly sets the bar for the way queer films should be using actors. It stars Georgie Henley, writer and director of Tide (2016), a short film about a young lesbian couple, and Antoinette Belle, a trans non-binary freelance photographer and video editor.
It’s always refreshing to see an explicit queer influence on a film from the cast and filmmakers, and having a team that cares sincerely about the LGBT+ community unequivocally makes for a wonderful viewing experience. Of course, the film’s concern with paying homage to Sappho, also undeniably makes this an excellent watch. Girl, Sweetvoiced acts as a love-letter to the poet, and the film’s concluding lines, “Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time,” perfectly pulls this together. The way Shoptaw manages to honor Sappho in these images is overwhelmingly impressive, and the solidification of Sappho’s memory in the 21st Century is what makes this film irrevocably special.
Watch it here
The Techy bit
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This review was written by:
London-based Film Baby studying a film MA specialising in lesbian film.
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