This film is part of Rentals

More than a Journey

From Sudan to the Greek islands via the East Midlands - a young gay woman seeks love, happiness and fulfilment

1986 52 mins

Director: Caroline Mylon


It’s hard not to be won over by the charming Paola Johannides. A droll, slightly nervy storyteller, she talks about her unusual life, from a childhood in Sudan to an unfulfilling stint in a Midlands branch of BHS and, finally, the more exotic climes of Crete. It’s here she works as a holiday rep, enjoying a number of relationships with female visitors to the island.

Filmed for LGBT documentary series Six of Hearts, More Than a Journey presents a very positive portrait of its gay subject. In the opening re-enacted scenes we see Johannides silencing her homophobic boss with admirable directness. She observes the double standard applied to men who openly have sex with other men in Greece, despite identifying as straight, while gay men and women feel they need to keep their same-sex attractions secret. Specially written songs by Carol Grimes, very much of their time, are the perfect background to this time capsule of 1980s lesbian life.