Cheryl Dunye's The OWLS is a portrait of liberal lesbian dystopia, set on an isolated estate in the desert. At its worst it's a shabby indie-flick that has been spiced up with a good dose of masturbation scenes and implications of violence. At its best it is a discussion about the possible meanings and repercussions of role-playing, and existing within a collective reality.
Skye, the mysterious stranger (played by Skyler Cooper), is the best part of this film. Her presence is electric and fills the viewer with anticipation, in contrast to the boredom-inducing routine dissatisfaction one witnesses for the most part of The OWLS.
It would have been nice to see some more consideration given to ideas around race. The film does move beyond tokenism by featuring two black leading characters, and through them is able to briefly address the tension between black women in white spaces (which the liberal lesbian world primarily is). But unfortunately the film doesn't go much further than that.