Rebel Dykes Documentary Trailer

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We are a tiny film crew. Siobhan/Rose is producing and researching the film, The directors, camera people and editors of the film are Harri Shanahan and Sian Williams, both early career film-makers of huge talent.  The soundtrack is based on 80's women’s indie and punk bands, remixed by Ellyott from Sister George and Night Nurse. The lead sound woman is a powerhouse called whitney and the  titles are created by Hannah who also does the social marketing. 


This documentary film is being made because the history of the London Rebel Dykes of the 1980s is in danger of being forgotten. Rebel dykes created their own world, made their own rules, and refused to be ignored. So we can't let history tidy them away.


Before there were queer activists, before there were Riot Grrls, there were the Rebel Dykes of London. They were young, they were feminists, they were anarchists, they were punks. They lived together in squats in Brixton, Hackney and more and at lived at Greenham Peace Camps (blue or green gates). They went to political demo's every Saturday, they set up squatted creches and bookshops, feminist newspapers and magazines. They had bands like Poison Girls, Mouth Almighty, The Darlings and The Gymslips. They ran sex positive Lesbian S/M clubs and women's nights at legendary The Bell. They were gender fluid, they were trans friendly. They worked in the sex industry, or in manual trades, or between the cracks. They lived their politics. They fought and won. They were the first generation of sex positive outlaw women, and nothing has been quite the same since.


The film is being made with No-Budget, but high production values. The film crew is based in Manchester, and we are doing this in our own time on top of work and bands and lovers and austerity and life. It's a labour of love.  It is being created in DIY style, with huge support from an online community of 200+ Rebel Dykes. It is going to be based on interviews  from Rebel Dykes, and will use lo-fi animation and recreated 80s video footage to retell their stories. It will use a huge amount of previously unseen or rarely seen archive material from the period, including video, photographs, zines, music and flyers. Most of the archive material (digitised) will go to London Metropolitan Archive and the Lesbian Archive after the film is finished, and we have a lot more than we can use - so hopefully this won't be the last we here of the rebel dykes.

Release date
30 November 2015
Sian Williams and Harri Shanahan