- Directed by Wendy Jo Carlton
- Ripe Fruit Films, LLC
- 126 Minutes
Sharon Gless and Maureen Gallagher in Hannah Free© indie-pr
Based on screenwriter Claudia Allen’s play of the same name, Hannah Free
is a valiant attempt to breathe life into a real lesbian love story that lasts a lifetime.
Strong-willed Hannah (Sharon Gless) is laid up in a nursing home, her legs apparently paralyzed. She is on the same floor as her lifelong friend and lover, Rachel, who is in a coma. But, Hannah is not allowed to visit Rachel by order of Rachel’s self-righteous, homophobic daughter.
Along comes Greta, a hip young gal, a modern lesbian, Hannah surmises, ostensibly working on a history project, who aids and abets Hannah in seeing for the last time her dying lover.
Moving right along
Greta sneaks Hannah into Rachel's room at 3 a.m. to reunite the two lovers. Meanwhile, Hannah receives letters from far-flung locales (New Mexico, Alaska) to illustrate her past travels while her memories—shown in a series of disjointed flashbacks—of Rachel, other women, her stint in the military—all conspire to show that while Hannah loved Rachel deeply, she needed always to be free. "I need life to surprise me," the young butch tells the femme (and married) Rachel in their small Michigan hometown.
Hannah Strong and Free
Young Lovers: Hannah Free©indie-pr
The film possesses very strong characters and an iron-clad plot, but the caricatures of all the self-righteous nursing home staff and family members (as opposed to plain justified righteousness on Hannah‘s part) is a bit disappointing. And, the sets unfortunately look like sets.
See it, Support it, and Rate it Yourself
My Rating: 3.5 stars. The device of Rachel appearing as a ghost to whom Hannah speaks and receives comfort throughout is distracting. It might have worked as a play, but does not translate well cinematically. However, this is a quality movie with high caliber stars, writers, producers and backers and certainly worth wandering with Hannah down her very own Memory Lane.