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Lover Other: The Story Of Claude Cahun And Marcel Moore

55 min.
Year of Production:
Kathleen Chalfant
Maty Pottenger
Alana Chazan
Yves Musard
Production Company:
Barbara Hammer Productions
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Documentary Film

Barbara Hammer’s collage of photographs, documents, interviews, lyrical passages and dramatised scenes recalls the lives of two surrealist artists and lesbian Resistance fighters whose work and whose fate has largely been forgotten: Claude Cahun (whose real name was Lucie Schwob, 1894–1954) and her girlfriend and lover Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe, 1892–1972). Claude Cahun (writer Marcel Schwob’s niece) and Marcel Moore were halfsisters. They fell in love around 1910 and were to spend their whole lives together; they are commonly regarded as the first lesbian couple to live and work together as artists. After studying in Oxford and at the Sorbonne, Claude Cahun made a name for herself as a writer and photographer in Paris. Her self-portraits in particular, wearing an array of different masks and costumes, were to make her famous, while Marcel Moore began to gain a reputation as an illustrator and draughtswoman. In 1932/33 they joined the anti-fascist artists association AEAR (Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires), and in 1937 they moved to Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. When the Germans occupied Jersey in 1940, the two girlfriends embarked upon a campaign of artistic resistance, putting up posters, writing manifestos and pamphlets with which they hoped to incite the occupying forces to mutiny. In 1944, both women were arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death; the majority of their artistic output was destroyed. They were released from imprisonment after the island was liberated in May, 1945. Claude Cahun was never to recover from the experience. 

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BIOGRAFIE Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer was born on May 15, 1939 in Hollywood, Cali- fornia. She is a visual artist working primarily in lm and video and has made over 80 works in a career that spans 30 years. She is considered a pioneer of queer cinema. Her experimental lms of the 1970s often dealt with taboo subjects such as menstruation, female orgasm and lesbian sexuality. In the ’80s she used optical printing to explore perception and the fragility of 16mm lm life itself. Optic Nerve (1985) and Endangered (1988) were selected for the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennials (’85, ’89), Nitrate Kisses (1992) for the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Her documentaries tell the stories of marginalized peoples who have been hidden from history and are often essay lms that are multi-leveled and engage audiences viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. She lives and works in New York City. Contact:

FILMOGRAFIE Barbara Hammer (selection)

2018 Evidentiary Bodies  2010 Generations  2010 Maya Deren's Sink  2008 A Horse Is Not A Metaphor  2006 Fucking Different New York  2006 Lover Other: The Story Of Claude Cahun And Marcel Moore  1993 Sanctus  1992 Nitrate Kisses  1991 Vital Signs  1989 Sill Point  1979 Bent Time  1979 Available Space 

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