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Ma Belle, My Beauty
Director: Marion Hill
2021 | USA, France | 95m | English, French
In Marion Hill’s Sundance Film Festival hit, passions and jealousies are reignited when Bertie and Lane, two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers, reunite at a secluded farmhouse in the south of France. To help Bertie with a creative roadblock, her husband Fred secretly invites Lane to stay with them — a not-so-pleasant surprise for Bertie. Old resentments, simmering tension, and sexual chemistry all combine into an explosive reunion that fascinatingly examines the issues that arise in a non-traditional relationship.
Starring: Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guignard, Sivan Noam Shimon
This film is only available in the US
If there are multiple viewers in your household we’re asking that you opt-in for the Group Tickets rate if possible.
Marion Hill is a New Orleans-based director with roots in Vietnam, England, and France. Her direction of the camera is devoted to the nuances of femme power, queer sensibility, and radical sensuality across cultures. With deep love for music, visual storytelling, and cultural fusion, Hill has specialized in grassroots and small-scale productions, collaborating with folks around the world to deliver authentic cinematic stories in all forms.
Through authentic, raw performance and visual storytelling, Ma Belle, My Beauty explores the complexity of a polyamorous relationship over time; depression and its effect on artists and musicians; and cross-cultural marriages and relationships.
Decades of my childhood experiences in this small town in France, where we filmed, made this setting the obvious cocoon in which my story would take place. Setting a story against my own convoluted personal heritage (I am French by way of Vietnam, and thus a strange Asian presence in white rural France) was the only way I could envision my first feature. More creatively challenging, however, was representing my identity and history in this setting thematically. I am pleased by the growth in queer femme love stories in recent years, but I am equally invigorated when I see how much is left to be explored in depictions of intimacy between women.
We are tired of seeing depictions of gay women and LGBTQIA folk at large whose main struggle in life is with their identity, and we are tired of mainstream eroticization of being “in the closet”. What are the nuances and specificities in relationships between women that are not just varying levels of “out-ness”? Ma Belle‘s characters exist far beyond the discovery stage of queer identity and polyamory, as they confront the complexities and work that these identities require. This is the film that could have shown a young and confused me what kinds of relationships are possible. My hope is for everyone to be able to find a piece of themselves in one, or many, of the characters, and for discussions to emerge around the boundless possibilities of what love can look like, and how we must take care of each other in pursuing these liberating ways of loving.
With this film I also want to invite viewers to be fully immersed into the beauty of a world where women are existing in the fullest power, fullest nuance, and fullest sensual agency. Here is our world where we say what we want and we are driven by our own values and desires, not those of others; where the traditional role of a partner or spouse is one that is an evolving support system existing independently alongside a woman pursuing her best version of herself, trusted and unrestrained.