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BLOODSISTERS: LEATHER, DYKES & SADOMASOCHISM: A Live Screening and Intro by Director Michelle Handelman

June 24, 2021, 6:00 P.M. PDT

Live Online Webinar

Outside the Box [Office], Queer Students in Cinematic Arts (QSCA), and Kino Lorber,
invite you to attend


A special live screening of


Directed by Michelle Handelman

Featuring a Live Introduction by Michelle Handelman

6:00 P.M. PDT on Thursday, June 24th, 2021


We will screen BloodSisters (70 minutes) live during the webinar.

Open to USC Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and the General Public.

Available on DVD Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

About BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes & Sadomasochism (1995)

During the early 1990s, San Francisco was the epicenter of body modification and gender nonconformity, with transgender pioneers like Patrick Califia and Tala Brandeis fighting for visibility, alongside the voice of a bold S/M community. Michelle Handelman’s provocative and pioneering documentary BloodSisters captures these queer outlaws in their zeitgeist moment, shot on digital video with an unfiltered rawness that mirrors the activism of the era. From pushy bottoms to macho femmes, BloodSisters immerses the viewer in the San Francisco leather dyke scene, shattering assumptions about gender and lesbian sexuality, while broadening the discussion about personal expressions of eroticism and their political implications. In the 1990s, BloodSisters was attacked in congress by the American Family Association for its depictions of radical lesbian sexuality. Twenty-five years later, the film has become recognized as a treasured historical document of a movement that tore down barriers of sex, gender, and activism.

About the Guest


Michelle Handelman is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer whose work pushes against the boundaries of gender, race, and sexuality. Coming up through the years of the AIDS crisis and Culture Wars, her award-winning films have screened widely including The Museum of Modern Art, The British Film Institute, The American Film Institute, The Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Harvard Film Archives, The San Francisco Cinematheque, and The New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Her recent multiscreen installations Hustlers & Empires (2018); Irma Vep, The Last Breath (2013/15); Dorian, A Cinematic Perfume (2009/12); and This Delicate Monster (2004/07) are all large-scale, multichannel video and performance works that were successfully produced in partnership with multiple venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, PERFORMA, Broad Art Museum, MIT List Visual Arts Center, The Henry Art Gallery, Participant, Inc., REDCAT, and the Contemporary Austin.

She is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow; a Creative Capital awardee; NYFA fellow, and recipient of many grants and awards. Her latest project Hustlers & Empires (2018) was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and her writing has been published in many journals and anthologies, including Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media. Her work has been written about extensively in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, The Village Voice, BOMB and The New Yorker. During the 1990s Handelman was based in San Francisco where she produced and directed the award-winning feature documentary BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasochism (1995), now being re-released by Kino Lorber for its 25th anniversary. She is an Associate Professor in the Film, Media and Performing Arts department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC.

About Queer Students in Cinematic Arts (QSCA)

Queer Students in Cinematic Arts (QSCA) is a USC student organization focused on collaboration, communication, and creative expression between queer creators and allies. From screening queer story-centered films to bringing in LGBTQ+ panelists, discussions, and workshops, QSCA seeks to spotlight queer and other underrepresented identities in the entertainment industry and across all of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts divisions. You can learn more about QSCA on EngageSC or through here:

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago