Endearing and Enduring: Acclaim came in a flash for this LGBT documentary about Two Jewish Lesbian icons and the price they paid to be themselves.
Directed by highly acclaimed filmmaker Deborah Dickson, a three-time Academy Award nominee, RUTHIE & CONNIE is a coming out story about love, friendship, passion, politics — and a cry for justice that resulted in a landmark LGBT civil lawsuit for domestic partnership benefits. The film became an instant hit at its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival where it was met with a ten minute standing ovation. After the screening, the film and its stars were invited to over 150 festivals worldwide. RUTHIE & CONNIE became known as “The Sweetheart of the Festival Circuit,” holding audiences, straight and gay, in rapt attention, garnering dozens of major honors and awards in the U.S. and internationally: Opening Night Film, Centerpiece Film, Closing Night Film, WINNER —Audience and Juried BEST Feature. RUTHIE AND CONNIE: EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE premiered on HBO/CINEMAX.
The film will break your heart while you laugh out loud.
A vérité documentary without talking heads or narration, this unconventional valentine spans five decades of shared pain and laughter —and a lifetime of hard-earned wisdom. Set deep in working class Jewish Brooklyn — the film follows two very funny, if rather traditional housewives. First, like so many young women in the 1950’s, they got married. Then, like so many young women in the 1970s, they got divorced. Unlike most, however, they both left their husbands for another woman: each other. They had fallen madly and passionately in love. For Connie, it was liberating. For Ruth, it was wrenching. And for the community that loved them so much, it was the scandal of the century. The journey that followed left them changed forever.
The First New York City LGBT Lawsuit. It Lasted Five Years But Was Well Worth The Fight. The Results? Benefits For ALL NYC employees!!
In a landmark case in1988, Ruthie and Connie sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits. Overnight, they became national heroines — and after a six-year struggle, they made history again when they won those benefits not only for themselves, but for all New York City employees.
The suit itself resulted in appearances on national television — both the “Donahue” and “Geraldo” talk shows — when they literally flew out of the closet in full view of millions of Americans. The suit, the first of its kind, helped pave the way for what has now become the LGBT community’s crusade for full civil rights and marriage equality.
Yet, RUTHIE & CONNIE is much more than a film about two activists and their gut wrenching coming-out story.
It’s about taking risks and challenging values; it’s about two women who spent much of their lives doing “the right thing” – until they discovered that it just wasn’t right for them. The film adds a powerful chapter to America’s search for the meaning of family.
Framed by the feminist movement and gay liberation, RUTHIE & CONNIE dares the world to take a new look at traditional “apple-pie” values: family, community, religious beliefs, honesty, justice — and above all, love.
Today, as the “religious wrong” continues to claim the moral high ground by demonizing homosexuals, RUTHIE & CONNIE offers a three dimensional response: two wonderfully funny, sassy, tax-paying, law-abiding, deeply spiritual older women who also happen to be teachers, community organizers, mothers, grandmothers to 21 grandchildren, life-partners for 35 years — and enduring lovers.
It’s simple: They want to get married, and they want civil rights for all.
In fact, Ruthie and Connie view themselves as incredibly “normal.” Whether marching in the Gay Pride Parade, or dancing on the Coney Island boardwalk, they are clever, passionate, angry – and always entertaining. They talk. They argue. They swim. They cook. They dance. They laugh. They rage against injustice. They cry. They sing old tunes. They are unabashedly romantic. They also dearly want this film, as they put it, “to continue to help people think and act differently. Differently in their thinking about lesbians and gays, differently about older people, working-class people, Jewish people, mothers and grandmothers. It’s simple: they want to get married. And they want marriage equality and civil rights for all.
DVD RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2010