It would be so simple to sum up Rebel Dykes as an offshoot of lesbianism that was solely about sex, music and drugs how to get and enjoy a lot of it. That element does come through quite a lot, and with great candour too. One contributor is quite clear that her interest in the Greenham Common protest was about meeting women and rather than the politics.

Though not central the Greenham Common (1981 – 2000) protest is an excellent section to this film as it sets out the very different ideas that were running through the lesbianism at the time. The seven gates of the base were colour coded and each had their own identity. The traditional dungaree and pastel who were the political drivers, the lesbian separatists that eschewed men completely and another, situated near a pub that attracted fun lovers. They even broke in and pinched the soldiers’ booze.

This theme of almost a power struggle within the movement is the key to understanding where the Rebel Dykes were coming from. Women who were lonely arrived in London from other parts of the country and wanted to express themselves enjoy life and each other without prejudice or fear. The latter came from some sections of the straight community as expected, but also from other lesbians. What ruffled the feathers of the latter was the wish to experiment with sex and S&M. To this end clubs were formed with cabarets that cheerfully put these acts on with consenting adults.

The Black Widows biker club was set up because they wanted to ride their bikes. The rebel dykes also opened up an outlet for original literature and art. And politics wasn’t ignored with members involved in the foundation of Stonewall and how the fractious gay and lesbian communities united against Section 28.

There’s a certain punky ramshackleness about the film with the photo montages and spikey animation going a long way to illustrate what was quite a rough ride for many of the Rebel Dykes having to suffer personal attacks on themselves and their businesses. There’s a lot of angst but this is also a very positive documentary of people setting up to do what they want to do and blow the objections.

Rebel Dykes is released in UK & Ireland, in cinemas and digitally on 26 November 2021