Dear Gabe: About

Queer and straight, black, white and in-between, Jewish and uncertain, bio- and adoptive-moms all, these six stories demonstrate the remarkable changes and challenges that define contemporary family. While having children may erase many differences, these strong women choose extremely different models from which to learn this humbling truth. Dear Gabe is an hour-long personal dv documentary about the perils, responsibilities and joys of contemporary family.

Produced by Alexandra Juhasz, the documentary follows the daily life of her family and those of five of her closest friends.

Dear Gabe presents six professional women who seek to explain to the next generation –our children — how we manage (or do not) given the complex choices that are now open to us. Distributed by Cinema Guild

Dear Gabe is about my five closest female, and one closest male, friends (and myself) who have had the power and privilege to name our families on our own terms. Intimate dv-footage reveals women who bend traditional ideas of race, sexuality, religion, and gender into more equitable forms while still respecting “family values.”

In 1986, we graduated from Amherst College. Since then, we have done exactly what we were supposed to: established ourselves in the professions, bought homes, coupled, made families. One of us has died of AIDS.

Telling the stories of our daily lives also tells a bigger story about how recent social changes have enabled new “kinds” of people the most radical, and yet somehow conservative set of choices. And there are consequences…

Dear Gabe begins at the first reunion of these six women in many years, a Jewish baby-naming ceremony for Hali’s daughter (chronicled in the short video, Naming Prairie). It ends with our 15-year college reunion.

The documentary is structured thematically, and with my own voice-over, as I read private, poetic letters to my son, Gabriel, and my deceased love, Jim. Each letter centers around a larger theme and will serve as introduction to a segment where my friends speak (in talking-head interview) or enact (through day-in-the-life footage) the complexity of the issues facing contemporary women.

Themes include: balancing family and career; facing bigotry and oppression; adapting male professions; rearranging gender roles for more equitable families; and living an ethical life. The living of a good family life — while making room for homosexuality, feminism, complex race relations, and dynamic cultural and religious identification — is this documentary’s subject.

Produced, Directed and Written, with Camera and Sound by Alexandra Juhasz
Edited by Enid Baxter Blader
Post-Production by Dave Estis
Score by Sheri Ozeki

– Isaiah James Hutchison Hammer, Prairie Evelyn Hutchison Hammer, Hali Hammer, and Margaret Sidney Hutchison
– Gabriel Juhasz, Simone Dunye, Alexandra Juhasz, and Cheryl Dunye
– James Lamb
– Aliya Wiseberg-Levy, Debra Levy
– Margot Mafra Spencer, Katia Mafra Spencer, Kim Li Spencer, and Agenor Mafra Neto
– Yoni Rechtman, Liya Rechtman, Rabbi Hara Person and Yigal Rechtman
– Page Ulrey and Ingrid Lundin

VIEW Dear Gabe at


Dear Gabe: A Video-Letter from Alexandra Juhasz
50:05, 2003, mini-dv


Alexandra Juhasz