Vivian's Garden - Rosalind Nashashibi (2017, 29 minutes)
Vivian's Garden is a sensitive portrait of two Swiss / Austrian émigré artists living in Panajachel, Guatemala, where they have developed a matriarchal compound in an environment that offers both refuge and terror. Elisabeth is in her nineties and Vivian in her sixties and they are as close as maiden sisters, in fact the family relationship is shifting, each is at times mother and daughter to the other. This film takes a close and dreamy look at their artistic, emotional and economic lives, with their extended householders: Mayan villagers as guardians and home help, and an assortment of dogs, it offers a tender look at an instance of post-colonial complexity. The film screening will be followed by a Q and A with Rosalind Nashashibi and film theorist Laura Mulvey.
It Takes A Million Years to be a Woman
Sister of Jam (2011, 36 minutes)
It Takes A Million Years to be a Woman – Sisters of Jam (2011, 36 minutes)
Directed by feminist collective Sister of Jam It Takes A Million Years to be a Woman is a layered portrait of feminist activist, writer and artist Kate Millett at the feminist art colony she founded in 1978 in Poughkeepsie USA. The colony remained in operation until the beginning of the new millennium. It was founded out of a belief that a gender-specific community would provide an environment where women artists could work unencumbered by social stigma.
In 2010 Kate Millett invited S.O.J. to stay with her at The Farm and this became the starting point for their cultural portrait of this unique community. The Farm has been said to be the workshop of Kate's mind. Many past residents from The Farm talk about Millett's strong vision for the colony, creating a experimental community devoted to both the production and the discussion of art made by women. Sisters of Jam are intrigued by The Farm both as an artist colony, a feminist community and as a social experiment. But most of all because of its act of opposition. The film, made in collaboration with Fredrik Redelius and with music from Jenny Wilson, draws on archival material and interviews with Kate Millett and the farms residents.
Kate Millett (1971, 70 minutes)
Three Lives – Kate Millett (1971, 70 minutes)
Kate Millett's Three Lives is a moving, proud, calm, aggressively self‐contained documentary feature, shot by an all‐female crew, about what it's like to be the three very different women who talk about their lives, with feeling and sensitivity. The film portrays three women: Robin Mide, an artist; Lillian Shreve, a chemist; and Mallory Millet-Jones, Millett’s own sister. The camera is a quiet observer, letting the women, from three different paths and generations, tell their own stories without outside interference. Through these women’s personal revelations, a narrative of living under the patriarchy is revealed. The personal is political, indeed.
Scuola Senza Fine
(1983, 40 minutes)
Scuola Senza Fine – Adriana Monti (1983, 40 minutes)
Scuola Senze Fine (School Without End) was directed by Adriana Monti in collaboration with students from the adult education150 Hour Secondary School diploma course with whom she had been working for a year.
The 150 Hours Courses were an educational experiment implemented in Italy beginning in 1974, available to factory workers and farmers initially, and expanding to include women a couple of years later. The courses were non-vocational; they were not intended to improve one’s productivity at work, but rather to allow for personal and collective growth. The courses sought to help workers reflect not only upon their working conditions but also on their lives.
The film shows how the experiment extended into the lives of women taking the course, most of whom were housewives. The film was produced in collaboration with these students as part of their studies for the class, turning the curriculum’s questions about the representation of women into questions about the representation of themselves. After the group of former housewives had completed their 150-hour secondary school diploma course in 1976 they did not want to stop learning. With the help of their teacher, they formed a study and research group. Monti shot the film about them from 1979–1981, with the first half of it being made collectively by the group.
(1990, 103 minutes)
Privilege – Yvonne Rainer (1990, 103 minutes)
Privilege, directed by Yvonne Rainer, is seemingly a straight-forward documentary in which women are interviewed about their experience of the menopause – a subject that has been virtually invisible on film. With a cast of characters the film takes on intersectionality exploring sexual identity, disability, race, gender, age and class. Jenny, the white middle-aged protagonist agrees to be interviewed by Rainer’s onscreen double Yvonne, an African-American friend who is making a documentary on menopause (Rainer is white). Her candid observations are punctuated by a ‘hot flash-back’ of Rashomon-like intensity which reveals an experience she has kept secret for 25 years. Yvonne extracts from Jenny’s tale a skein of hidden themes, such as the prevalence of rape and domestic violence; racism in law, housing, and personal attitudes; the sexualization of women’s personal identities; and the role of class and economic power in reinforcing these and other forms of injustice.
Image Credits from top: Left Overs, Sisters of Jam, Vivian's Garden, Rosalind Nashashibi, First you love it, Then you hate it, Then you come together, Sisters of Jam, Kate in her Studio, Sisters of Jam, Scuola Senza Fine, Adriana Monti, Privilege, Yvonne Rainer