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Dear Gabe
Distributed by Cinema Guild

Queer and straight, black, white and in-between, Jewish and uncertain, bio- and adoptive-moms all, these six stories demonstrate the remarkable changes and challenges that define contemporary family. While having children may erase many differences, these strong women choose extremely different models from which to learn this humbling truth. Dear Gabe is an hour-long personal dv documentary about the perils, responsibilities and joys of contemporary family.

Produced by Alexandra Juhasz, the documentary follows the daily life of her family and those of five of her closest friends.

Dear Gabe

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Dear Gabe:
I write to you as a woman born in the1960s into great privilege that still somehow can't remedy everything. My friends and I have made inter-racial couples, bi-racial babies, lesbian households, and cross-religious unions. We have made choices where women previously knew certainty, choices that are both entirely personal and a reflection of their time. Choosing you was the direct result of the collective struggle of political Americans who contested for the unlinking of biology and destiny. Thanks to their effort, lesbians like your Mama Cheryl and I feel authorized to experience what straight women have always expected: the dream of raising children. I write to tell you about the families we make from conviction, our links of love based upon recognition.

Dear Gabe presents six professional women who seek to explain to the next generation --our children -- how we manage (or do not) given the complex choices that are now open to us. Distributed by Cinema Guild

Dear Gabe is about my five closest female, and one closest male, friends (and myself) who have had the power and privilege to name our families on our own terms. Intimate dv-footage reveals women who bend traditional ideas of race, sexuality, religion, and gender into more equitable forms while still respecting "family values."

In 1986, we graduated from Amherst College. Since then, we have done exactly what we were supposed to: established ourselves in the professions, bought homes, coupled, made families. One of us has died of AIDS.

Telling the stories of our daily lives also tells a bigger story about how recent social changes have enabled new "kinds" of people the most radical, and yet somehow conservative set of choices. And there are consequences...

VIEW IT at snagfilms.com

View Stills and Video Clips from "Dear Gabe"  

On-Line Press Packet

Purchase this video through Cinema Guild

Dear Gabie,
Unlike what has been true for most humans who have peopled the earth, we millenial queers must decide to make our progeny. We choose you, carefully, with great discussion and angst. We have to deliberate on how to make you. As a direct consequence, our children are never accidental or unwanted. We always have to decide, up front, what you might mean to us and to the world.

Dear Gabie,
Do you know I also chose to be a lesbian? Can you understand this?

It started out as a political and theoretical decision neatly linked to falling in love for the first time with a woman. Unexpectedly, I found myself in a relationship that was healthier and happier than any I had known with a man. The next thing I knew, we chose to have you, too...

Dear Gabe begins at the first reunion of these six women in many years, a Jewish baby-naming ceremony for Hali's daughter (chronicled in the short video, Naming Prairie). It ends with our 15-year college reunion.

The documentary is structured thematically, and with my own voice-over, as I read private, poetic letters to my son, Gabriel, and my deceased love, Jim. Each letter centers around a larger theme and will serve as introduction to a segment where my friends speak (in talking-head interview) or enact (through day-in-the-life footage) the complexity of the issues facing contemporary women.

Themes include: balancing family and career; facing bigotry and oppression; adapting male professions; rearranging gender roles for more equitable families; and living an ethical life. The living of a good family life -- while making room for homosexuality, feminism, complex race relations, and dynamic cultural and religious identification -- is this documentary's subject.

Dear Gabie,
Unlike what has been true for most humans who have peopled the earth, we millenial queers must decide to make our progeny. We choose you, carefully, with great discussion and angst. We have to deliberate on how to make you. As a direct consequence, our children are never accidental or unwanted. We always have to decide, up front, what you might mean to us and to the world.

Dear Gabe,
This is your Mommy. As I write this, you are just two, with a bad cough and a love of motorcycles, baseball, and your big sister, Simone.

I am not writing to that boy, though, the boy whose eyes reveal a complete satisfaction born from my love: that boy doesn't need these words. Instead, I write to a Gabriel in an imaginary future -- a Gabriel I hope won't need my words -- a seeking or sad Gabriel, a confused or lonely boy. I write to my future son who somehow still needs to know more about why he was born into my life and into our strange and wonderful family: the place that has given my adult life new meaning and joy, the place that has always been your home.

This video is about choices and their consequences. Choices I made to create you and our family; consequences I feel now and those I imagine for your future. My choices are both entirely personal and a reflection of their time. Your Mama and I are part of a significant national trend of lesbians and gays choosing to raise children.

CREDITS
Produced, Directed and Written,
with Camera and Sound by Alexandra Juhasz
Edited by Enid Baxter Blader
Post-Production by Dave Estis
Score by Sheri Ozeki


CAST
- Isaiah James Hutchison Hammer,
Prairie Evelyn Hutchison Hammer,
Hali Hammer, and Margaret Sidney Hutchison
- Gabriel Juhasz, Simone Dunye,
Alexandra Juhasz, and Cheryl Dunye
- James Lamb
- Aliya Wiseberg-Levy, Debra Levy
- Margot Mafra Spencer, Katia Mafra Spencer,
Kim Li Spencer, and Agenor Mafra Neto
- Yoni Rechtman, Liya Rechtman,
Rabbi Hara Person and Yigal Rechtman
- Page Ulrey and Ingrid Lundin


VIEW IT at snagfilms.com

View Stills and Video Clips from "Dear Gabe"

On-Line Press Packet

Distributed by Cinema Guild