What to watch: All We’ve Got

Celebrating the importance of lesbian bars.

What to watch: All We’ve Got

After many years of what felt like a terminal decline, could we be seeing a resurgence in lesbian nightlife options and social spaces for queer women?

Filmmaker Alexis Clements has been documenting the evolving social scene for queer women.

“I started searching right around the time I came out - searching for community or a sense of belonging..." explains Clements, as reported by Hyperallergic. "As queer people, we’re told that there is a community out there for us to find. But for many of us it’s not so simple.”

"Age, race, class, gender, ability, and countless other factors impact whether we can access communities where we’ll find other people who share in our experiences..." continues Clements. "As a queer woman looking for community, what I was finding was that a lot of the spaces everyone was telling me to go to were already closed or they were on the verge of closing."

In her film, All We've Got, Clements journeys to places like the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, WOW Café Theatre and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York, and Alibis Club in Oklahoma City. Through her eyes, we see the range and possibility of spaces designed as community hubs, performance venues, and places for dancing and partying.

Blending interviews and archival materials from the different spaces, the film shows the power of intergenerational thinking and communities, something that Clements belives is essential for sustained and successful spaces.

“A huge part of my motivation in making the film was to make something that is not exclusively about bars...” said Clements. "Almost all of the media that exists about LGBTQ spaces focuses relentlessly on bars. We have done much of our best political work, honing of community, preserving our history, and having a gay old time outside of bars.”

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