Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

Rules have always exceptions and for me the exception in the world of made-for-TV films are British productions. No matter the genre they are excellent and complete-experience productions. But up-to-date the best made-for-TV productions in the lesbian interest genre absolutely are from the BBC and with their latest production based on real people and recently decoded diaries just makes it more evident, if possible. The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister not only is an excellent production but has a compelling story that looks and feels absolutely real, like real life -against fiction or a romanticized version of real events.

Real is the key word for this story that is not really a happy story as you'll see the suffering Miss Lister lives and maybe many will know -or guess- the outcome to similar painful situations and well, that's exactly what happens here! So you can say the story will be predictable for many, but the ride is simply magnificent with excellent performances, so much caring for period details and good production values.

The story is set in nineteenth century Yorkshire were wealthy orphan Anne Lister lives with her unmarried aunt and uncle who are anxious for her to marry well; but Anne is in love with her lover Mariana Belcombe. Love is real between them but Marianna doesn't approve the "public" displays more liberated Anne does among the close provincial society of those days and makes a marriage of convenience to a rich old man hoping that their relationship will continue as always, as they are considered best friends to everyone. But Anne feels betrayed and asks Mariana to stop writing and visiting her. What follows you have to see it, but let me just finish by saying that Anne Lister was really open about her sexuality, well open in closed doors; still, my impression is that many knew she was lesbian as she was the object of gossip behind her back.

Not only the story is about the romantic life of Miss Lister but also is about what probably was the first woman in the region to become an industrialist which to me is like the icing on the cake, as definitively is not another biopic about a lesbian in older times, is about a woman that had to take hard life decisions to fight (and win) men who thought she could not handle the hard coal exploitation business.

Yes I find the story fascinating as a woman story but also as a real-life lesbian interest story. Not often we have the opportunity to learn about interesting women struggles in the past and much less in this genre.

I strongly recommend this film to women and to those that enjoy excellent productions in the lesbian interest genre. This is one film that goes to my collection along excellent productions like Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet and more.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

If you want to learn more about Anne Lister I suggest you go to From History to Her Story site that's here.

No comments yet