Sébastien Lifshitz / France, United States / 2022 / 97 min
The lively, touching and until now secret story of a trans community in 1950s New York and their sanctuary in a villa outside the city, told by the guests themselves to the director of ‘Little Girl’.
Casa Susanna was the nickname for a large Victorian house in the Catskills north of New York that became a secret haven for cross-dressers and transgender women in the 1950s and 60s. Now the former guests themselves are sharing the great untold story of Casa Susanna in detail for the first time. About freedom, drag parties, dinners, costume balls – and about the house’s vivacious owner Susanna, also known as Tito. Several of them brought their wives on their weekend trips to the Catskills. Director Sébastien Lifshitz (‘Little Girl’) has established himself as one of the great humanists of our time, and without turning a blind eye to the oppression of non-conforming minorities – then as well as now – he has made a film about a community that is finally free to celebrate its own history.