Run Time: 65 min Release Date: Sep 06, 2016 Year Produced: 2015 Rating: Not Rated Language: English/Closed Captions Directed by: Jenni Olson Starring: Jenni Olson (voiceover), Tony Kushner (voiceover cameo)
This film appeals to: Lesbian audiences

“A beautiful, haunting history lesson.” — Out Magazine

“Top LGBT Pick of Sundance” – The Advocate
“Full of love stories… Recommended viewing.” — Trish Bendix, AfterEllen

A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on Junipero Serra’s Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, the pursuit of unavailable women, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, and featuring a voice-over cameo by Tony Kushner.

This bold, innovative film from acclaimed San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson combines rigorous historical research with lyrically written personal monologue and relates these seemingly disparate stories from an intimate, colloquial perspective to tell a one-of-a-kind California tale.

Awards & Press Quotes

Jenni Awards

  • “A beguiling meditation…serenely accomplished.”  – Dennis Harvey, Variety
  •  “A humorous exploration of butch romantic desires.” — Berenice Reynaud, Senses of Cinema
  • “A breathtaking cinematic essay….a masterpiece.”  – Sam Fragoso, RogerEbert.com
  • “As personal as it is political, Olson’s meditative project offers a profound lesson on intimacy and history.”  — Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
  • “One of the most ambitious documentary projects at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. [A] deeply personal cinematic docu-poem.”  – Ryan Lattanzio, Indiewire.com
  • “Intimate…ambitious.” – Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
  • “An utterly transfixing piece of work….gorgeous and hypnotic…one of the best, most unusual docs playing the [Sundance] fest.”  – Dan Schindel, Nonfics.com