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In 1980s London, a group of young lesbians are struck by inspiration to follow their desires. Leaving their linen fabrics and peace-camp protests behind, they don black leather instead and open a club for the BDSM practicing and curious. Before long, a rift grows between these rebel dykes and the other dykes in London, along the lines of sex: isn’t all this coupling of sex and violence just a reinaction of the dynamics lesbians are trying to escape? Though this question has been tussled within mainstream queer-dom for decades now, this documentary portrays fresh and bold leather dykes doing battle against convincing but stale ideas of identity.

These young rebels wield mischievousness, lust, and wicked style in pursuit of pleasurable sex and free expression. Along the way, they do come in contact with difficult forces - namely AIDS and questions of who can belong in or define a community. With striking footage and personable interviews, we see if our rebel dykes still have the fight in them almost 30 years later.

– Mara Lemesany, Damn These Heels programming committee member

Rebel Dykes has screened at BFI Flare, Kashish Mumbai International Film Festival, and Frameline.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    82 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
  • Rating
  • Director
    Harri Shanahan and Siân A. Williams