Archive of films Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House / Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House

2002, 58 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2002

Ruthie and Connie live in Brooklyn enjoying retirement. But they’re not the typical older ladies they may seem at first sight. They’re lesbians. They were once married, had kids and then divorced. But twenty-five years ago they realised that the love of their lives was not a man but a woman. The price they had to pay for coming out, however, was high....


The heroines of this documentary are, by the looks of it, perfectly typical Americans. They live in a small house in Brooklyn, spend time at their hobbies, fly to Florida for the winter, get together with old friends and occasionally go dancing. But during candid statements it comes out that Ruthie and Connie aren’t two completely average older ladies. They’re lesbians who have decided to hide their relationship no longer. They both suffered the same fate within the Brooklyn Jewish community: they married in the fifties and had kids. But because they were unhappy with their husbands they got divorced. And then they finally found themselves: love, passion, friendship and a life partner were theirs. The price they had to pay, however, was high – as all who do not judge them freely admit. Ruthie and Connie celebrate twenty-five years of love, and finally a ceremony will seal their loving relationship before God and the public.

About the director

Deborah Dickson is an independent documentarist who enjoys mixing a bio style with cinéma vérité. She is a three-time Oscar nominee: for Frances Steloff: Memoirs of a Bookseller (1988), Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Music (1997) and Lalee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton (2001). She graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University and from film school in New York. She has made numerous other successful documentaries (Abortion: Desperate Choices, Sex, Teens and Public Schools, The Education of Gore Vidal, among others). She has said of her films: "I hope I´ve made a film where people laugh and cry along with Ruthie and Connie the same way that I do. I just learned so much from these women! They taught me how important it is to be myself, whatever the consequences. They taught me to laugh at pain, and to turn my anger into useful outrage. And most important of all, they let me in."

About the film

Black & white, 16 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Deborah Dickson
Dir. of Photography: Ferne Pearlstein
Music: Chris Cunningham, Michelle Kinney
Editor: Rachel Kittner
Producer: Donald Goldmacher
Production: Berkeley Film Group
Cast: Ruth Berman, Connie Kurtz

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