Frameline, San Francisco's LGBT film
festival, will open Thursday with a period drama that examines the
life of Anne Lister, considered Britain's first modern lesbian.
The Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
premiered on England's BBC2 in May and makes its US debut at
The film is adapted from Lister's
astonishing diaries, which were coded to conceal her lesbian
affections, and set in 19th century Yorkshire, England.
The complete journal spans a staggering 4 million words and took
nearly a century to decipher.
Lister (played by Maxine Peake) courts
Mariana Belcombe, known only as “-Zp4z-z” in her diaries. The
pair share a strong bond and Lister declares her love, but Mariana
shuns her by marrying an older, wealthy gentleman. Suspecting the
marriage is a sham, Lister pines for her lover's return.
Lister, an industrialist and landowner,
eventually moves on. She first attempts to seduce the innocent Miss
Browne and later makes Ann Walker her “wife.” In between the two
women, she rejects the marriage proposal of mine-owner Christopher
Rawson and she's nearly exposed as a lesbian.
The lush film, directed by James Kent,
is based on Helen Whitbread's groundbreaking 1992 book.
Gay Entertainment Report is a feature
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