* * * * * * * * 8 Stars
This represents a film that is clearly lesbian. The protagonists are lesbian, and without featuring lesbians the plot would not make sense. The sexual orientation of the protagonists is clear, and therefore not an issue in need of discussion. Ideally, the movie is directed and produced by an all women team.
* * * * * * * 7 Stars
The plot is mainly based on lesbian ways of life although the movie may deal with other topics as well. Lesbians dominate the action, and there is no question about the protagonists being lesbians.
* * * * * * 6 Stars
Among the main stories of the film is at least one important side story involving lesbians, and the lesbian characters can obviously be recognized by the audience.
* * * * * 5 Stars
These films clearly contain a lesbian subtext but what starts as a promising side story peters out at some point. The reason could be that the directors carefully avoid that the issue of lesbian love becomes too explicit in the film, or that they merely want to take advantage of a lesbian subtext in order to better sell the film. Also films in which an intense friendship between two women crosses or seems to cross the boundary at the very end of the film or “off” the story fall into this category.
* * * * 4 Stars
Lesbians in minor parts are presented in a series of scenes only, and can clearly be recognized as lesbians. Also, films which feature short lesbian affairs fall into this category.
* * * 3 Stars
This category includes films which feature a minor side story about a close and intense friendship or even a love-hate relationship between two women which may potentially end in a lesbian romance. The lesbian side story remains undeveloped.
* * 2 Stars
In a film of this category lesbians appear or are discussed. Lesbians may be seen in the background, kissing, making eye contact, or pick up lines.
* 1 Star
Films within this category contain so little lesbian content that it may not be noticed.
That means the film suggests something which may or may not be read as a lesbian subtext. Also, films featuring women pretending to be men may fall into this category.
© Ingeborg Boxhammer (Bonn 2005)
Anita Winter (Translation, Berkeley/Erlangen 2005)