Winter Tan, A: Life as Endless Pursuit of Sex and Booze

Based on the book Give Sorrow Words by Maryse Holder, the Canadian docudrama, A Winter Tan is both disturbing and provocative in its honest portrayal of sex, for a change from a strictly female POV.

Directed, written, and produced by star Jackie Burroughs and scribe Frizzell, the tale centers on Holder, the ill-fated feminist author who met tragic death in Acapulco.

The tale describes her obsessive pursuit of sex and booze, which ultimately lead to her murder by one of her lovers.

Here is a woman, who behaves (by double standards of the time) as “a lusty man,” regarding hunky Mexican men as both subjects and objects of her unrestrained desire.

Drawing on confessional letters written by Holder, A Winter Tan is an uncharacteristically candid feature about one “unconventional” woman, a former schoolteacher no less.

Shown at the 1988 New York Film Festival, the film later played at MoMA and Film Forum.

Burroughs deservedly won the Genie (Canadian Oscar) for Best Actress.


Jackie Burrough as Maryse Holder

Erando Gonzales as Miguel Novaro

Anita Olanick as Pam

Diane D’Aquila as Edith

Running time: 91 Minutes