Two films by filmmaker/screenwriter Austin Bunn will be featured at ACME Screening Room on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m.: “Lavender Hill,” about one of the few 1970s gay and lesbian communes, and “In the Hollow,” about girlfriends Claudia Brenner and Rebecca Wight, who were attacked while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Brenner’s desperate survival story.
The screening of “Lavender Hill” (23 minutes) and “In the Hollow” (15 minutes) will be followed by a question and answer session, and Juda Bennett, former member of the Lavender Hill commune, will attend. The entire program runs 75 minutes, and is followed by a “supper club” for those willing to fork over the extra moola.
In May 1988, girlfriends Claudia Brenner and Rebecca Wight were attacked while hiking the Appalachian Trail by a “mountain man” named Stephen Roy Carr. Combining documentary and narrative material, “In the Hollow” tells the story of the shooting, Wight’s death, and Brenner’s desperate survival (and later transformation into an advocate for hate crime legislation in the U.S.) as she returns to the trail for the first time since the shooting.
In a time when over a dozen straight communes thrived in Tompkins County outside Ithaca, Lavender Hill, which expanded to include several homes across the property, was a remarkable experiment in collaboration, gender exploration, and social and political integration between young gays and lesbians in the post-Stonewall era. The documentary features the voices of the former commune members, and gay and lesbian activists and historians, along with rare archival eight-millimeter film of the commune during its heyday.