"...you see people as themselves. The fact that these women have come such a long way in realising their dream is moving people and encouraging them to watch it"
- Philip Cheah, Festival Director (Singapore Int'l Film Festival) on the popularity of the documentary

About the Documentary

One of the few documentaries ever made about lesbians in Singapore, this documentary, filmed in 2006 uses interview footage with three Singaporean lesbians -Amanda Lee, Sabrina Renee Chong and Gea Swee Jean, to get a rare glimpse into lesbian lives in Singapore.

Intimate and often candid, these lesbians share about their lives and loves and their views on topics such as coming out and relationships. Sometimes heartbreaking, and often times, funny, the documentary captures the lives of lesbians who have chosen to live authentically and is a testament to the courage, tenacity and experiences of lesbians living in Singapore.

For more information, to join the mailing list or to RSVP for screenings, please email womenwholovewomensingapore@yahoo.com

Watch the Documentary Here!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Review by Regina De Rozario

Despite its sparse, low-budget approach, and having been made over a year ago, 'Women Who Love Women' presents a range of complex issues that is especially timely in these months following the recent Parliamentary debates on S377A.

Although running at a little over an hour, the film manages to touch on topics such as coming out, having to 'validate' one's relationships, and reconciling one's (Christian) faith with one's sexuality. Above all, the film talks about honesty to friends and loved ones, and especially to oneself. Honesty, the film proposes, being the first step towards self-acceptance, awareness, and empowerment.

Amanda, Sabrina, and Swee Jean come across as balanced, articulate women with a lot of heart. Swee Jean especially, exudes a maturity and awareness quite remarkable for someone of her age. Sabrina brings to her conversations a sense of gravitas and resilience, while Amanda touched me the most by bravely making her vulnerability and moments of doubt apparent.

The scenes that worked best for me were the ones between Amanda and her friend. Interestingly, it was not so much their discussion, but the silent pauses and stares they exchanged that spoke volumes about the respect and friendship they shared, despite their different opinions. The other scene that moved me was when each of the women showed off their family pictures and spoke about their respective childhoods - an indication perhaps that gay people aren't just "born that way", but have grown from roots that they respect and treasure.

Having said that, the film is not perfect. One thing that struck me was the lack of voices from women of minority races. With its group of below-40, Chinese, English-speaking interviewees, the film cannot be said to be representative of Singapore's multi-racial lesbian community. I did wonder what an Indian or Malay woman, or someone who was not English-educated would have made of the film. Fortunately, there were questions 'common' to the lesbian experience for the interviewees to address. For instance, how does one find a place along the spectrum of labels from butch to femme? Does one even need to? Further to this, I was also a little disappointed that the film only managed to include comments from the interviewees' friends, but not their parents or siblings. A few opposing voices included in the mix would have also brought forth a little more tension, realism, and food for thought. On the other hand, I can understand some of the limitations the filmmakers must have had to work with.

Despite its shortcomings, 'Women Who Love Women' is no small triumph. Anyone familiar with Singapore's media policy on gay-affirmative films would understand the difficulty in putting a work like this together and bringing it to a wider audience.

I do hope that this film gets to be seen by those who need to see it, especially for the very pertinent questions it poses. Such as, how does one assert one's voice to amend misguided, misogynistic, heterosexist, or homophobic, attitudes? Despite the heightened visibility of 'the gay community' in the spotlight of the S377A debates, it is undeniable that a large majority of queer women still stand on the periphery, rendered silent because they are not acknowledged, or with their hands tied up in self-doubt. Perhaps this film can offer them a push in the right direction.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Documentary selected for the Hong Kong Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

We are very pleased that the documentary has been selected to be part of the upcoming Hong Kong Gay & Lesbian Film Festival!

The documentary will be screened at Broadway Cinematheque, Hong Kong on 25 & 27 November 2007 at 220pm & 740pm respectively.

Check this link out for more details - http://www.hklgff.hk/2007/movie/20/index.htm

Monday, September 24, 2007

Review by Irene Oh

观看《Women who love women》,是一个集体感动的体验。

Women who love women》是一部独立制作,访问了三位不同年龄层的女性,畅谈她们的出柜经历和生命历程。和早期类似的纪录片比起来,《Women who love women》受访者面对镜头的坦然,已经隐喻了时代的变迁。遗憾的是,我们要走的路还很长。这样的社会氛围,令这部纪录片更具有特殊意义。

三位女性;三种性格;三个时代。镜头跳跃之间,剪接得流畅。Amanda 的好友们亲自现身说出对Amanda的支持,让影片温情洋溢。Swee Jean幽默的快人快语,令全场哄堂大笑。《Women who love women 》的受访者勇气可嘉,不过如果做回自己也需要勇气的话,不仅是少数族群的悲哀,更是整个社会的悲哀。

值得注意的是,《Women who love women》的切入角度相当个人化,注重受访者的个人体会和感受。

Women who love women> Pelangi Pride Centre 的放映会,反应踊跃固然令人鼓舞。制作群的用心良苦也毋庸置疑。不过,如何让更多人看到这部纪录片,改变对同性恋者既定的刻板印象,相信是制作群更艰巨的挑战。

Irene Oh 胡爱妮
Administrator of Sayoni.com

(English translation by Tan Hui Yee)

Watching WLW was a touching experience.

WLW is an independent production, it interviews three women of different ages, who talk freely about coming out and lives. Compared to earlier documentaries on the same topic, the interviewees in WLW are candid, showing how times have changed. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go, which makes this documentary even more significant.

Three women; three personalities; three eras. The different scenes were smoothly spliced together. Amanda's friend appeared in the film to support her, adding much warmth to the film. Swee Jean's humorous banter got the house roaring with laughter. The interviewees' courage is admirable, but it is really sad - for minorities and the whole society – that it actually takes courage just to be ourselves.

What's also worth noting is that WLW is shot from the perspective of the interviewees, with their experiences and emotions taking centrestage.

It's wonderful that WLW got such a good response when it was screened at Pelangi Pride Centre. It is evident that the production team put in a lot of effort. But the greater challenge now for the team is to get more people to watch the documentary, to counter stereotypes of gay people out there.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review by Peizhi

"Have you ever walked down the street, looked at someone and
wondered about their life? Wondered if they've gone through the
same happiness, the same sadness, the same discrimination as you?
I have..

WOMEN who LOVE WOMEN gave me an insight into 3 women's
lives. These women shared about their family, friends, lovers and
coming out etc. The documentry felt like a nice old blanket. Comfortable
and familiar. Here were 3 women I could identify with. I have gone
through bits and pieces of their life. In a way, it made me happy to
know that I'm not alone in facing all these problems and obsticles.
This documentry have given lesbians not only a voice, but also a face.

This documentry did not portray 3 women as just lesbians; a label
but as human beings leading happy and contented lives, just like
everyone else on the street. It is heartening to know there are lesbians
out there who have found strength and courage to tell their story. So as
my friend always says, I'm a woman, hear me roar!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Review by Alicia

I am one of the lucky ones who managed to catch Women who love Women: Conversations in Singapore on its third screening. On that day at Bianco, there was the usual pre-screening excitement in the air. I have been to a few lesbian-themed screenings, and it is always crowded with girls and feels like everybody is anticipating something. Maybe it’s because we are so deprived in Singapore. Whatever it is, I just like that feeling of a whole community of women sharing a common space and concentrating on a common thing.

Su-Lin, the producer gave a brief introduction and the screening started without a fuss. The directing and production was simple and basic and suited the subject matter, allowing for focus to be on the interviewees and their conversations. It was very engaging and did not feel like it ran for 65 minutes; and actually that is my only complaint, that it was too short J.

What I really liked about the documentary was its honesty. There was an absolute absence of the producer’s and director’s voice and that allowed the conversations to flow without judgement. The topics raised were plentiful and I think it would be fun if there were spin-offs based on the topics raised.

The interviewees were allowed space and time to tell their stories and it was clear that they felt confident and open with the interviewer and May Ling behind the camera to be able to share whatever they felt like sharing. The conversations were smooth and I did not feel that the interviewees were directed to say the ‘right’ things. There’s a saying that says if you can’t see the work that was done, lots of work must have been done. Given the flow of the entire documentary, I would think that a lot of production work, i.e. good editing and organisation must have been done so that the conversations that were screened were coherent and connected.

The interviewees were well chosen. The interviewees, Swee Jean, Sabrina and Amanda were positive examples for lesbians in Singapore. They showed that they had thought hard and deep about the issues about being gay and out in Singapore. They were not afraid to talk about their family and friends, their relationships and partners, and even sex. Because of their candidness and spontaneity, there were many light-hearted moments, easing what might have been heavy topics.

The Q&A was interesting. People were open with questions and most wanted to find out what was the impact of the documentary and if there are plans for more similar productions. We need more stories, and documentaries.

A documentary it might have been, but it was entertaining and informative. It is also long overdue. Ten percent and more of any population in the world, including Singapore are homosexuals, but we have hitherto been silent. And everyday that passes us by is another day of history and pride that we lose. There are stories out there waiting…

The documentary is a significant contribution to the lesbian community in Singapore because: not only is it the first to document in film the lesbian experience in Singapore, it also represents the first time lesbians are declaring their hitherto invisible and misunderstood lives as women who love women in Singapore. We have a life, a real one, filled with love, laughter and learning - our real-life L word. :)


Review by Peter Goh

Most viewers may come in thinking lesbians are just women who love other women, as the title suggests. The documentary, however reveals the whole person of a lesbian in her unique complexity beyond sexual attraction to other women. The multi-faceted and seemingly fluid nature of a lesbian’s self-identity comes through quite strongly in all three stories. Perplexing that may be to the uninitiated and prime fodder even for the unconverted, there is no attempt to water-down or conceal that which is characteristically true of many lesbians. In using real human faces and voices, this is a brave and honest attempt to expand the collective understanding of women who love other women.

Peter Goh

Review by Tania Chew

"WOMEN who LOVE WOMEN: Conversations in Singapore" is warm, funny and poignant all at once. The conversations struck me as deeply honest - sometimes even raw - and that's what makes them real. There were little parts of myself and my own experiences that I identified with and I wouldn't be surprised if others do too. This isn't just for or about women who love women. It's about self discovery and about loving yourself and being true to yourself. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Tania Chew

Review by Nizhen Hsieh

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-- Anais Nin

When American dramedy “Ally McBeal” first hit the screens, it was all the rage until one particular episode – the female protagonist has a dream about kissing her colleague who is of the same gender. It sparked such an outrage that the then Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) went as far as to scrub the episode off prime time completely. Their defense? “As a responsible broadcaster, we are very careful to monitor and take action against overtly sexy or alternative themes.”

In a country that deems homosexuality as a genetic variation or idiosyncracy that goes against the supposed moral majority, it’s no surprise that something as mundane as a fleeting fantasy would provoke such an extreme measure. But as feminist philosopher, Judith Butler, once optimistically declared, the existence of the unspeakable ‘other’ isn’t pure exteriority, rather, it stands as a notion of futurity – the ‘not yet’. In other words, it potentially “constitutes the limit that actively contests what we already comprehend and already are…”

Women Who Loves Women may not have brought anything new to the table in terms of the issues and struggles that the gay community has dealt with hitherto. But it reinforces the very real existence of these issues and extends the rainbow coloured spectrum to include the most often absent lesbian perspective. Homosexuality for a long time has been mainly a ‘male’ point of contention, that even within this alternative space, it is defined conceptually on a patriarchal level.

Women Who Loves Women is no dramatized or histrionic flight of fancy. It has enough balls to dish the dirt and like any woman, derives strength from her own vulnerability. It takes responsibility in acknowledging that decriminalization begins when we stop policing ourselves.

A much-needed dialogue that elevates self-reconciliation above social acceptance, it is first and foremost a coming out that steers away from guilty confession to instead a human portrayal of three women’s evolutionary process and the renewed hope of what could be.

Nizhen Hsieh

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Hi and welcome to the WOMEN who LOVE WOMEN: Conversations in 
blogsite! :)
A big thank you to Charmaine who helped us design this! This
blogsite is meant to keep you updated on the journey of this
documentary, and for you to post your comments and feedback.
Please feel free to review the documentary and post it here.
All feedback is welcomed and we sincerely hope dialogue and
conversations can be started, and continued here, not only
about the docu but also wider GLBTQ issues.
As a starter, I'd just like to thank everybody who came for
the previous 3 screenings and filling the house! :) It's such
an encouragement and affirmation of the work, but also of the
community and I hope you felt the same way being present at
the screenings. Thanks for being a part of this exciting journey,
and for being community.
I know there are so many other stories out there, to be shared
and heard. This is only the beginning! Maybe some of you would
like to post your stories here! Anyway, please make this blogsite
your own too and come visit and involve yourself often. We will
try and update it as often as we can, and perhaps switch stuff
around and make it more exciting as we go along...
Do look out for some reviews from some audience members who've
agreed to write and which we hope to receive and post soon. There
is also a new screening of the docu coming up. Please refer to the
Screening section on this blog for more information.
Ok, hope to hear from you soon! Cheers!
Su-Lin :)