Some genuinely wild women take center stage in Paris Poirier’s vivacious and historical documentary about Maud’s, the longest-running lesbian bar in the United States. This venerable San Francisco establishment opened in 1966, when lesbians were still very much in the closet. Maud’s flourished throughout the ’70s and ’80s, enjoying an international reputation as a meeting place for lesbians and their friends, only to be shut down in 1989 as a result of the community’s shifting priorities. Provocative personal stories of coming out, sexual politics and softball are mixed with flashbacks to the Hollywood gay bars of the ’40s and the vice raids of the ’50s.
The vintage photos and personal interviews (with Mary Wings, Judy Grahn, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, Sally Gearhart, JoAnn Loulan and Rikki Streicher, to name a few) are an invaluable window into lesbian history.
A witty and informative look at cultural evolution in the making, ‘Last Call at Maud’s’ salutes and preserves an era in history when bars were the only cultural institutions in the lesbian community.