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Bates Hillel to screen 'Ruthie and Connie' as part of the 2003 Maine Jewish Film Festival

Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House, an award-winning documentary film by Deborah Dickson about two lesbians who won a landmark domestic-partner benefits case, will be screened as part of the 2003 Maine Jewish Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in Pettngill Hall’s Keck classroom (G52), 4 Andrews Rd. Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz will attend and participate in a post-screening discussion. A reception will follow. Admission is $3 and tickets can be purchased at the door.

Brooklyn-born, straight-talking Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz are Jewish grandmothers who have been friends for 40 years, and lovers for 25. The funny, painful, life-affirming documentary about their circuitous journey toward each other explores issues of love, lust, family, friendship, change and hard-won acceptance. The pair overcame the obstacles of homophobia to become outspoken advocates for gay rights. They gained national attention when they sued the New York City Board of Education in 1988, and made history five years later when they won domestic-partner benefits for themselves and all New York City employees.

The Boston Globe called the 2002 film “a portrait of two feisty Jewish grandmothers who’ve been in a relationship for 25 years and recount their joys and hardships with inimitable zest.”

Directed by three-time Oscar nominee Dickson, the 56-minute film garnered audience awards for best documentary at the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and at the Los Angeles Outfest, and received the Golden Space Needle Award for best documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The Maine Jewish Film Festival, held this year from March 8 through 13 in Portland, presents films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse community about the Jewish experience. For more information about the festival, visit here or call 207-831-7495.

The Bates screening is sponsored by Bates Hillel.



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