Our Rating: ★★½☆☆
L Factor: Gender Bender/Major lesbian content
Short Take: Over 400 women fought in the Civil War disguised as men, some assuming a male identity for the rest of their lives. This is one such story.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2005
Duration: 115 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Whitney Hamilton
Writer: Whitney Hamilton
Starring: Dana Bennison, Rebecca Damon, Gerry Green, Whitney Hamilton, Mimi Jefferson, William Laney, Jennifer Larkin, P.J. Leonard, Rick Lewis, Patrick Melville, Thom Milano, Ed Moran, Scott Mushinskie, Vincent Niemann, Grace Pettijohn

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My Brothers War

This is a little historical film that is almost a lesbian love story. Over 400 women fought in the Civil War disguised as men, some assuming a male identity for the rest of their lives. This is one such story.

Writer/director Whitney Hamilton also stars as Grace, a woman in trouble in 1862 Virginia. Her fiancé and brother are away fighting on opposite sides in the Civil War. When her father passes away, she’s left all alone.

Cutting her hair and donning her brother’s clothes, Grace passes as a man to try to find her sibling in the Confederate Army. As Henry, she runs into Virginia (Dana Bennison), a woman who has also lost everything. They travel together, becoming closer, even kissing, although Henry stops the embrace at that.

When Henry is shot, Virginia must nurse him back to health, warming his chills with her naked body next to his … even though she is fully aware at this point that Grace is really a she. Although there is a declaration of love and plenty of opportunity, alas, the romance disappointingly never comes to fruition.

This is a very low budget production, quite difficult for a period drama using reenactment groups for civil war battles. It does have a nice old timey mountain music soundtrack that brings emotion to some scenes. We learn that Grace lived as Henry for the rest of her life, but we’re left with the sting of the potential love lost. (AB)