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Kamikaze Hearts 18 rating

Juliet Bashore’s queer docufiction, starring Tigr and real-life girlfriend porn star Sharon Mitchell, was shot in and celebrates the heady days of the San Francisco underground in the 1980s.

Drama 1986 87 mins

Director: Juliet Bashore



‘I thought she was another dumb fucking porn slut,’ Tigr tells Juliet at the start of what looks to be a documentary about a couple navigating life as lovers in the sex industry. Is this fiction, a doc about Tigr directing her first film, or a sexed-up Bizet’s Carmen, starring her hot girlfriend ‘Mitch’? And does anyone else on screen, other than Tigr, know the answer? Bashore cites Herzog, and there’s a wealth of polysexual, punk-rock cultural currents flowing here – from Monica Treut and Annie Sprinkle to Allan Moyle’s Times Square. Made in 1986, this was rejected by the lesbian mainstream for not being a ‘positive’ enough portrayal of queer women (and there are unsettling and almost certainly ‘real’ moments – such as the couple shooting up on screen), but after 40 years it still feels a fresh and vital milestone in queer cinema. Restoration from the original 16mm A/B camera negatives. Restored by Kino Lorber in collaboration with the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Originally screened at the BFI London Film Festival 2022 as part of Treasures.