In this episode, I explore Donna Deitch's 1985 cult classic, "Desert Hearts." It's about Vivian Bell, who travels to Reno, Nevada in 1959 to get a quickie divorce. While she stays at a ranch for six weeks, she meets the vivacious Cay Rivvers, and the two women fall in love. "Desert Hearts" was one of the first films to represent a lesbian relationship without it ending in tragedy or suicide.
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Original artwork by Dhiyanah Hassan
- Listen to my series on debut feature films by women directors: Unrelated, A Brand New Life, Losing Ground
- Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule
- More about Filmstruck
- Listen to my other episodes on queer love stories: Blue is the Warmest Color, Moonlight, Call Me By Your Name
- More information about Kiki
- The Criterion Collection edition of Desert Hearts
- Follow Carolyn Petit on Twitter
- Read Carolyn Petit's review of Desert Hearts
- Peggy Ornstein's TED talk