June 17, 2014 3:24 AM Subscribe
Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride
posted by dng (8 comments total)
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is a collection of found photographs by film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz
showing (mostly anonymous) gay couples together in the early years of the 20th century. 'He found most of his collection in the US and western Europe, but none in the UK: “Maybe the British think such photographs have no value, or are too private to sell.”
'. In 2012, Lifshitz released Les Invisibles
, a related documentary exploring the lives of 11 gay and lesbian individuals over the age of 70.Sébastien Lifshitz
on Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride
: With each discovery I was stunned, for these images didn’t match the official history of homosexuality as it has been conveyed to us. As a teenager, when I dreamed of my adult life, if I stuck to the literature or the few films that existed on the subject, the future promised to be dark. To be gay or lesbian meant belonging to a genealogy of suffering, to have a dramatic, if not a tragic, destiny. Despite the many battles and certain victories that ensued, the homosexual remained a victim in the collective consciousness; a hidden man. Yet, these images, which I've found through the years, were telling another story -- one about a homosexuality without inhibitions, gentle and playful.
on Les Invisibles
: I wanted to look back over the past 60 years, talk to homosexuals born between the wars and ask them what life had been like for them. In parallel, another idea emerged. I didn’t want the film to focus uniquely on the past, quite the contrary. I also wanted to take a look at the lives of older homosexuals today, to film them in the present, to see what it’s like to love and to age for homosexuals over 70... The media has no interest in old people, and that goes double for old homos. The gay press focuses almost entirely on people in their thirties, as if after that, we all get sent to the junkyard. And yet, everyone ages. I find the invisibility of the elderly incredibly unhealthy, it only serves to heighten our fear of death and ageing. Ageing homosexuals themselves seem to accept this fate by withdrawing from their social lives. The word ‘invisible’ thus seems to me particularly accurate in describing these men and women who are absent from view.