Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail
Format: 16mm Black & White
Runtime: 49 min
National Film Board of Canada
One of Owen’s seminal works, the medium-length Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail depicts the short-lived friendship between two working-class women in Montreal: the waifish Donna (Michèle Chicoine) and the hard-edged, more experienced Gail (Jackie Burroughs). Although they are at first inseparable, Donna’s strange, erratic behaviour– and her penchant for fantasy – becomes an increasingly insurmountable obstacle. Arguably the first English-Canadian film to feature lesbian characters and to reflect a strong European influence, Notes uses such techniques as a shady, unreliable narrator (Patrick Watson) to raise important questions about whether we can ever actually “know” another person.