History Lessons
History Lessons (2001)

History Lessons explores lesbian images from 1896 (the beginning of film) until 1969 (the Stonewall uprising). Focusing on images prior to Stonewall, the film exposes not only popular lesbian representations - or misrepresentations - in… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 26, 2001
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2002
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Critic Score: 27% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post

An intermittently instructive and amusing jumble that might have been seen as daring and 'transgressive' in both form and content if it had been released, say, three decades ago.

Brandon Judell

What this in-your-face filmmaker has done is take historical newsreel footage, music, and vintage lesbian porn and cut it into a hard-hitting, visually enchanting, clitorally stimulating art piece that makes you think every woman . . . was a dyke.

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Rachel Deahl
Boxoffice Magazine

A one-note experience, more memorable for what it sets out to accomplish than what it actually does.

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Dave Kehr
New York Times

The clips themselves are so battered, grainy and sordid that they are more depressing than inspiring.

Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International

While the film is intermittently fascinating, the big problem here is that nothing is explained and no one is identified.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

Neither a conventional documentary nor a work of complete fiction, Hammer's film constructs a secret history, part imagination and part reality that is both revealing and slyly entertaining.

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Jessica Winter
Village Voice

Here Hammer betrays a tiresome attachment to cross-cutting ladyporn with antiquated educational filmstrips, to no real end but snarky giggles.

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Rachel Gordon

An intelligent, satirical presentation of how misdirected the media is in defining lesbians.

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