Smart, successful, and charming, Elsie is the perfect girlfriend; she also happens to be a serial monogamist, with a long history of broken hearts. When Elsie breaks up with her long-standing girlfriend to pursue another woman, she faces her mother’s disapproval, conflicting advice from friends, and the nagging suspicion that she may have made a big mistake. Set in the Parkdale neighborhood of Toronto, Portrait of a Serial Monogamist invites audiences to peek behind the curtain to a world of smart, funny and relatable queer characters, dealing with the universal complications of modern relationships. Not another coming out story, this is a fresh coming-of-middle-age romantic comedy.
Romantic Comedy. 2015. Canada. 84min. Directed by John Mitchell & Christina Zeidler
Toronto, 1955. In the heart of Chinatown, a new bar opens: The Continental. It’s dark, grimy, and attracts an unusual clientele. Local tabloids scream in 20-point font: “Sapphos overflow Chinatown!” The bar becomes the meeting place for two of Toronto’s marginalized communities: Chinese-Canadian men and lesbians living “the life” full time.
Recounting this forgotten piece of Toronto queer history, artists Hortie and Reynolds tell the story of Toronto’s first long-standing lesbian bar using original shadow puppets, overhead projector animation and archival images. Pull a stool up to the bar and watch lesbians and Chinese men stand side by side, battling crooked cops, fractured families, tabloid rumours, and the wrecking ball of “progress”.