Writer-director Jenni Olson’s The Joy of Life is a truly unique film which has resonated with lesbian audiences across the globe – especially butches and the girls who love them!
Multi-talented performance artist Harriet “Harry” Dodge (By Hook or By Crook, Cecil B. Demented) brings to life this innovative story of a butch dyke in San Francisco searching for love and self-discovery. Against a backdrop of stunning 16mm landscape cinematography, this bold, lyrical voiceover film evolves from lesbian lust story to inventive documentary – offering up a quick look at Frank Capra’s 1941 film, Meet John Doe before embarking on the fascinating and previously untold history of the Golden Gate Bridge as suicide landmark. A true San Francisco experience, The Joy of Life also includes poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti intoning his ode to the City by the Bay, “The Changing Light” and features credits music from legendary poet-painter (and probable Golden Gate suicide) Weldon Kees.
Since its world premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, The Joy of Life has played a pivotal role in renewing debate about the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge and has been praised by audiences and critics alike for its poetic style and unique vision.
The Joy of Life is a film about landscapes, both physical and emotional.
Awards & Quotes
2005 Marlon Riggs Award (for courage & vision in Bay Area filmmaking) – The San Francisco Film Critics Circle
2005 Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award– Outfest, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
2005 Best US Narrative Screenplay Award– The New Festival, New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
“Another perfect film with a masterful screenplay.” –Brandon Judell, indieWIRE.com
“Simply stunning to behold.” –Candace Moore, AfterEllen.com