Uncover the beauty of “You Can Live Forever,” a captivating love story between two girls from different religious backgrounds.
“You Can Live Forever” is set in 1992 and follows the love story of Jaime and Marike, two teenagers who find refuge in their secret relationship. Jaime, 16, grew up in Thunder Bay, in the English-speaking part of Canada. She loves sci-fi, The Cure, and getting high. And unbeknownst to all those around her, she’s gay. After the tragic loss of her father and her mother’s depression, she moves to the Saguenay region to live with her devout Jehovah’s Witness relatives, her Aunt Beth and Uncle Jean-François in French-speaking Quebec. There lesbian teen Jaime must regularly attend religious services despite being an agnostic. She feels like an outcast, but all that changes when she meets Marike, a devout Witness girl who is the daughter of a prominent Witness elder. The two are instantly drawn and quickly become close friends, and Jaime falls hard for Marike. They eventually spend most of their nights together at either one of their houses, exchanging discreet smiles and sharing tender moments in a protected space away from prying eyes. The two girls disappear into their private world, and for a while, they are happy.
But when the community notices how close Jaime and Marike are, they work hard to keep them apart, only allowing them to see each other under strict watch. The elders believe that keeping these two apart will stop them from loving each other. However, all it does is push them closer together into a clandestine and intense affair.
When their carelessness leads to getting caught and being discovered by Jamie’s uncle, the consequences are drastic. Faced with the threat of being expelled from both her family and the worldview in which she was raised, Marike agrees to marry Marc-Olivier, a local boy. Despite her immense sadness, she resigns herself to the marriage so that she and Jamie can both achieve happiness in God’s promised kingdom after the world ends that has been promised to them, which is one of the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses that they call “the new system of things.”
Jaime wants to run away with Marike, but she is horrified to realize that their two worlds are very different. Marike is deeply attached to the beliefs taught by her family, and Jaime finds herself at a crossroads - either sacrificing her own beliefs to stay with the person she loves or being forever separated from her.
Lesbian co-screenwriter and co-director Sarah Watts drew on her own experience to write the story of “You Can Live Forever.”
“I grew up gay in a Jehovah’s Witness community in a small northern town,” Watts said. “As a teenager, I was eager to see a story with a character who even remotely resembled me on the movie screen. But I was always disappointed. When there were lesbian characters, they were inevitably used as plot points and usually died tragic deaths.”
She continues: “I was so desperate for representation that I spent all the money I’d been saving for a trip to Europe to fly to Vancouver so I could see Bound on the big screen. When I met Mark and explained my upbringing to him, he immediately understood my point of view. For years, we worked together to create a film that could honor my own background and the experiences of other young people in a similar predicament. ‘You Can Live Forever’ is the movie I always wanted to see as a teenager.”
Sarah Watts and Mark Slutsky give us a thrilling new lesbian movie starring:
“You Can Live Forever” is a poignant lesbian drama set in the early 1990s that sheds light on attitudes towards homosexuality among Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The movie fosters tolerance by creating a warm and romantic atmosphere. The characters defy stereotypes and expectations by showing compassion, even if it defies their own beliefs and values. “You Can Live Forever” does not succumb to the temptation of promoting hate between different religions and philosophies either. The personal investment of co-screenwriter and director Sarah Watts, who grew up as part of a Jehovah’s Witness community, brings the needed balance concerning religion here. The film neither takes sides nor tries to make any statement about it but rather tells a beautiful lesbian love story.
Also, O’Driscoll and Laporte’s great chemistry allows viewers to identify with them and their relationship. Clever camera shots facilitate a full focus on the characters and the dynamic between them instead of showing distracting environmental details that may be irrelevant.
Be spellbound by this beautiful lesbian love story by watching the trailer below that will make you eager to see the rest of the movie:
"You Can Live Forever," one of the most eagerly awaited lesbian movies of 2023, made its grand premiere on June 11, 2022, as a highlight of the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. The official release date in Canada is scheduled for March 25, 2023.
For those who prefer streaming, “You Can Live Forever” is now available on VOD platforms or other online movie stores. Here’s the list:
If you found "You Can Live Forever" captivating and are in search of similar thought-provoking movies, consider exploring "Bonnie & Bonnie" and "The Miseducation of Cameron Post."
In "Bonnie & Bonnie," the story challenges patriarchal norms and religion by portraying the growth of a genuine friendship between two resilient women who are determined to defy societal expectations and create their own destiny.
On the other hand, "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" takes you back to 1993, where a young girl finds herself trapped in a "conversion therapy" center against her will by her conservative guardians.
Both films delve into complex themes, offering compelling narratives and powerful messages that resonate with audiences seeking stories of empowerment, identity, and resistance.
I have no interest in watching a film in which religion (once again) fucks people around. It's the old lie: deny yourself happiness in this life because there will be pie in the sky when you die. Well, fuck that bullshit! How about pie on the table right now. Marike has been poisoned by religion, indoctrinated into a "faith" whose central icon is a man being tortured to death. What Jamie must not do is be dragged into a misogynistic monotheism which is blatantly homophobic. Their love hasn't a hope of surviving in that milieu. Run, Jamie, run! Marike is lost to you. Go find a sympatico lesbian atheist and be happy. And you can have all the pie for dessert that you desire.