Casa Susanna

CIFF Streams

April 2, 2023 - April 9, 2023

directed by
Sébastien Lifshitz
France, USA
closed captions
audio description
english subtitles
film contact
American Experience
film contact email
[email protected]

From Sébastien Lifshitz (2020’s “Little Girl”) comes the story of Casa Susanna, which in the 1950s and 1960s acted as a popular and safe gathering space for transgender women and cross-dressing men to be their true selves—away from the prying and judgmental nature of a society that didn’t understand them. —M.G.

Told with remarkable candor and surprising grace, this documentary looks back at a Catskills resort named Casa Susanna, which served as a sanctuary for a generation of transgender women and cross-dressing men in the 1950s through the 1960s. The getaway allowed its visitors to express themselves not only in safety and openness, but also to share in a community of understanding and without judgment. As CASA SUSANNA brings the era back with the help of a stunning amount of photographs, the resort comes to life through the testimony of its guests given in the film. Illuminating the full complexity of their lived experience, from the strictures and pressures of the time to the family dynamics of more accepting relatives, the film is an essential piece of queer history. —C.F.

Queer Cinema
CIFF47 Streams
Ad Hoc Docs Competition

Community Partners

Human Rights Campaign
LGBT Legacy Project