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Mini Lez Movie Review: Valencia -The Movie/s

Mar 28, 2014

Seen as part of the BFI Flare festival for LGBTQ films.
Michelle Tea is well known within LGBTQ circles with her book, Valencia, becoming something of a Queer cult classic.  Chronicling Tea’s experiences in the West Coast lesbian community, Valencia: The Movie/s is expectedly a visual representation of the written word and pays homage to Tea as a person and the culture surrounding her.  Set in San Francisco, the film is as colourful and gritty as the nineties Punk-Lesbian and rise of Queer zeitgeist era it takes place in.
The film is divided into sections, each given to a different cast and director. However, they were not simply distributed to any old person with a camera and a clapperboard, but chosen carefully from a national community of Queer filmmakers, each with their own auteur-ship and each trying to portray a different theme with the content they were given.

A constantly changing case could easily have meant a having disruptive and incomprehensible narrative, confusion of characters and blurred purpose, however this was not the case upon execution.  Guessing which character played Michelle in each segment was enjoyable rather than a nuisance, and the audience was treated to brief but certain appearances from protagonists and subjects, the real Michelle and her partner, Iris.  The varied and exciting approach reflected the source material, the audience, the Queer community and Tea herself; it’s a very authentic experience.
Valencia will likely be one to add to the collection, bang-smack inbetween But I’m A Cheerleader and Milk, a lighthearted, quirky and culty dream.  Handling subject matter that might be considered difficult or a particular sore spot within mainstream society – prostitution, for example, in a way that is full of heart, honesty and humour; the film is truly a triumph of the grittiest, Queerest nature.

Sarah Moore‘s interests in queer theory and gender performativity are shaping her into a super-serious queer lifestyle advocate and not-so-secret drag enthusiast. Read more about Sarah’s gin drinking and other exploits on her website: and read her tweets here @sarahmoorexo

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