We're celebrating LGBT History Month with a landmark film in the history of gay cinema, Donna Deitch's 1985 debut feature Desert Hearts.
Based on Jane Rule's 1964 novel Desert of the Heart, Deitch's adaptation tells the story of Professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) who comes to stay at a guest ranch in Reno, Nevada, in order to process her divorce. Here she meets and falls for free-spirited artist Cay Rivvers (Patricia Charbonneau). Set against a majestic desert landscape, the film was groundbreaking in its positive portrayal of romance between two women.
Deitch said: 'At the time I bought the rights to the book, there hadn't been a film about a relationship between two women that hadn't ended in suicide […] or in a bisexual triangle. I wanted to make just a love story, like any other love story between a man and a woman, handled in a frank and real way.'
What better way to continue the Valentine's Day vibes than with this heartfelt romance and beautifully evocative portrait of 1950s America, set to a perfect soundtrack of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Jonny Cash and Gene Vincent.
Donna Deitch // US // 1985 // 96 mins // Certificate 18