London in the 1980’s was a hotbed of radical lesbian feminism with its Rebel Dyke community which for some inexplicable reason has never been mentioned in feminist history books about the period. But that is all about to change with a brand new documentary. The movie’s producers take great pains to point out that before the Riot Grrls, before the Lesbian Avengers, before the Queer Activists, there were the London Rebel Dykes.
This film cracks open the 1980’s underground dyke scene, as it is about the days when lesbians were f-cking everywhere, when they were scrawling it on walls, abseiling into the house of Lords, running women only sex clubs, taking over live TV to change the laws of the land. They were a bunch of kickass women in leather jackets who made their own punk bands, zines and squats. They were gender-fluid and trans friendly. They worked in the sex industry, or in manual trades, or between the cracks. They lived their politics. They fought and won. They were the first generation of sex positive outlaw women, and nothing has been quite the same since. If you ever wondered what fighting the Tories in the eighties, what punk, squatting and riots were like for dykes, then this compelling film will fill in all the gaps and so much more.
Co-directed by newbie filmmakers Harri Sherridan and Sian Williams and produced by Siobhan Fahey an original Rebel Dyke, a rough-cut of the documentary was shown as a work-in-progress at last years BFI Flare and received a standing ovation. Now when they finish all the post-production it will embark on global tour of LGBT film festivals.
The film was being made DIY and no-Budget, but with high production values and huge ambition, and so they have a crowd-funder to help them finish off. If you want to help support this very vital project go to http://www.rebeldykes1980s.com/donate-to-us. You can also get details of an event on the weekend of March 18th/19th when the Rebels will swing into action in a fundraising event as Brixton Dykes on the Rampage in collaboration with Queer Tours of London, Kuntinuun and Drag Kings, Queens and InBetweens Festival.