watch Steam trailer


USA, 2007, 117 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Aging / Elders, Black / African American, Coming Out, Drama, Lesbian, Parenting / Family, Youth
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Kyle Schickner

Three very different women weave a fragile bond at their local steam room, where they hope the hot water vapor might wash away their loneliness, confusion and fear.
During her first year at college, Elizabeth (Kate Siegel, Curse of the Black Dahlia) questions her sexual identity and struggles to break free from her strict Catholic parents. Middle-aged Laurie (Ally Sheedy, High Art) is a single mother dealing with the psychological games played by her ex-husband and the potential problems in a relationship with a much younger man. And recent Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee (American Gangster) gives another award-worthy performance as Doris, an older woman facing feelings of despair and emptiness after the death of her husband. When she meets another man, she opens herself up once again to the vulnerability of giving one’s heart to another.
Unbeknownst to them, these women share many of the same struggles and joys and separately learn to find strength, joy and beauty in their unique circumstances. By interweaving the stories of their individual journeys, director Kyle Schickner shows how age, race, class and religion have little to do with matters of the heart — ultimately, we all want the same things: love and happiness.
At times playful and uplifting and other times heartbreaking, Steam speaks to the universality of human experience and the resilient spirit that allows us to rebound from struggle and emerge triumphant. — NORA ISAACS


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