Reinventing Lesbian Youth in Su Friedrich’s Cinematic Autoqueerography Hide and Seek



“My name is not Lucille! It’s Lu!” cries a 12-year-old small-town 1960s girl in Su Friedrich’s black-and-white film Hide and Seek. Lu’s struggle for self-definition, out of her straight and narrow classmate’s heteronorma-tivity, is a quest for reevaluation of lesbian adolescence and their influence on adult women’s life. This film’s critical cinematic investigation of queer girlhood; same-sex friendship and bonding between straight girls, ‘baby-dykes,’ and tomboys; heterocentric popular media; and implicit and explicit homophobia is a mosaic or assemblage of interviews with adult lesbians who recount their adolescent same-sex attractions, fictional youth queer melodrama, and diverse excerpts from sex educational films of the 1960s, nature films, and Brian Desmond Hurst’s adventure film Simba about rebellious Africans in Kenya. The personal stories and the fictional narrative are interwoven in Hide and Seek into a bittersweet reconsideration of nostalgic lesbian stories and microhisto-ries as a source of evolvement and empowerment.


Fictional Narrative Educational Film Lesbian Identity Nature Film Compulsory Heterosexuality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works cited

  1. Angier, Natalie. Woman: An Intimate Geography. New York: Random House, 1999.Google Scholar
  2. Benshoff, Harry M. and Griffin, Sean. Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.Google Scholar
  3. Brée, Germaine. “Autogynography.” Studies in Autobiography. Ed. James Olney. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. 171–9.Google Scholar
  4. Cvetkovich, Ann (2002). “In the Archives of Lesbian Feelings: Documentary and Popular Culture.” Camera Obscura 17.1 (2002): 107–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dyer, Richard. “Lesbian/Woman: Lesbian Cultural Feminist Film.” Now You See It: Studies On Lesbian and Gay Film by Richard Dyer. London and New York: Routledge, 1990. 169–200.Google Scholar
  6. Dyer, Richard. “Seen to Be Believed: Some Problems in the Representation of Gay People as Typical.” The Matter of Images: Essays on Representations by Richard Dyer. London and New York: Routledge, 1993. 19–51.Google Scholar
  7. Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives. Dir. Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman. National Film Board of Canada (NFB), 1992.Google Scholar
  8. Giddens, Anthony. “The Trajectory of the Self.” Modernity and Self-identity by Anthony Giddens. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994. 70–98; reprinted in Identity: A Reader. Ed. Paul du Gay, Jessica Evans and Peter Redman. London: Sage and The Open University Press, 2000. 248–66.Google Scholar
  9. Hall, Stuart. “Introduction: Who Needs ‘Identity’?” Questions of Cultural Identities. Ed. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. London: Sage, 1996. 1–17.Google Scholar
  10. Hide and Seek. Dir. Su Friedrich. Downstream Productions / Independence Television Service, 1997.Google Scholar
  11. Jelinek, Estelle C. (Ed.). Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1980.Google Scholar
  12. Jolly, Margaretta. “Coming Out of the Coming-Out Story: Writing Queer Lives.” Sexualities 4.4 (2001): 474–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Klinger, Barbara. “‘Cinema/Ideology/Criticism’ Revisited: The Progressive Text.” Screen 25.1 (1984): 30–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee, Janet. “Menarche and the (Hetero)sexualization of the Female Body.” Gender & Society 8.3 (1994): 343–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, Janet. “‘A Kotex and a Smile’: Mothers and Daughters at Menarche.” Journal of Family Issues 29.10 (2008): 1325–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Loftus, Brian. “Speaking Silence: The Strategies and Structures of Queer Autobiography.” College Literature 24.1 (1997): 28–44.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, Biddy. “Lesbian Identity and Autobiographical Difference[s].” Life/Lines: Theorizing Women’s Autobiography. Ed. Bella Brodski and Celeste Schenck. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988. 77–103.Google Scholar
  18. Perfolja, Tania. “Australian Lesbian Teachers: A Reflection of Homophobic Harassment of High School Teachers in New South Wales Government Schools.” Gender and Education 10.4 (1998): 401–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rich, Adrienne (1982). “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”; reprinted in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Ed. Henry Abelove, Michéle Aina Barale and David M. Halperin. New York and London: Routledge, 1993. 227–54.Google Scholar
  20. Russell, Catherine. Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  21. Seiter, Ellen E. “Women’s History, Women’s Melodrama: Deutschland, Bleiche Mutter.” The German Quarterly 59.4 (1986): 569–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Simba. Dir. Brian Desmond Hurst. Group Film Productions Limited, 1955.Google Scholar
  23. Stanton, Domna C. “Autogynography: Is the Subject Different?” The Female Autograph. Ed. Domna C. Stanton. New York: New York Literary Forum, 1984. 5–22.Google Scholar
  24. Stockton, Kathryn Bond. The Queer Child or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Webster, Brenda. The Last Good Freudian. London: Holmes & Meier, 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gilad Padva 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Personalised recommendations