. . . But I Was a Girl: The Story of Freida Belinfante | Chicago Reader

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By the late 1930s the half-Jewish butch dyke Freida Belinfante was a successful cellist and the first woman in the Netherlands to conduct her own orchestra, but when World War II interrupted her career she joined the resistance, forging documents so that others could escape the Nazis. After the war she settled in southern California and found another orchestra, though her conducting career was stymied again by professional jealousies and homophobia. This 1998 Dutch documentary by Toni Boumans profiles the brilliant and charming Belinfante through a mix of archival material and interviews with the subject, her sister, her colleagues, and her last lover, who says she bounced back from every defeat until her death from cancer in 1995. In one interview Belinfante notes that the war destroyed her optimism about humanity, but the film documents a rich and ultimately happy life. 69 min.

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