Hannah Free

Hannah Free

USA, 2009, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Aging / Elders, Discrimination, Drama, Lesbian, Parenting / Family, Youth
Program: Closing Night
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Wendy Jo Carlton

Adapted from one of Claudia Allen’s award-winning plays, Hannah Free tells the story of a decades-long love affair between Hannah — an adventurous, butch lesbian with gruff charm — and Rachel, a pristine, married homemaker with a religious upbringing. Set in a present day nursing home, Hannah is forbidden from seeing the now-comatose Rachel, due to her not being “family.” When a mysteriously kind student promises to help Hannah gain access to Rachel’s room, Hannah is forced to reconcile her own desires with those of Rachel’s family and, oddly enough, Rachel.

Through a series of flashbacks and past incarnations that Hannah imagines in her old age, the viewer is treated to the passionate beginnings of their relationship, which was both tumultuous and enduring. Hannah, marvelously played by icon Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey, Queer as Folk), manages to convey the introspection that comes with age, while still being spunky and sharp. Though Hannah is out and unashamed while Rachel is much more reserved, both characters are revealed to be courageous in entirely different ways.

The film easily questions matters of same-sex partners’ rights, the definition of family and the difficulties surrounding seeing your loved ones become old and fragile. Together from childhood until they were seniors, Rachel and Hannah’s relationship is multi-layered and poignant — sometimes an entire lifetime isn’t even long enough to be with the person you love. — ANGELIQUE SMITH

Text Voting Code: F126



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