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The Trickle Down Theory of Sorrow
A film by Mary Filippo
US, 2002, 15 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W04823
Veteran experimental filmmaker Mary Filippo tackles issues of work, class and gender roles in this visually captivating and provocative autobiographical piece. At the core of this engaging autobiographical piece is an interview with Filippo’s mother, as she recounts incidents of exploitation and gender discrimination she experienced working in jewelry factories in the 1940’s and 50’s. The filmmaker contrasts her mother’s quiet acquiescence with her own attitudes about social injustices of her culture through a striking montage of images and audio clips—moving the viewer to consider connections between consumerism and global labor practices, motherhood, money and happiness.

The core of the film is an interview with Filippo’s mother, in which she describes worker exploitation and gender discrimination in the jewelry factories she worked in during the forties and fifties. The filmmaker connects and contrasts her own experiences and attitudes toward work, class and gender roles with her mother’s. While her mother's attitude toward the social injustices she endured is one of resignation, Filippo’s is one of assumed but uncollected responsibility.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Black Maria Film & Video Festival
  • New York Film Festival
  • Flaherty Film Seminar
  • Pacific Film Archive

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QUOTES

    "...an exceptional and original work...combines an intensely intimate perspective with a global context...as it deals with issues of domestic and industrial labor and women's daily lives."
    Margarita De la Vega-Hurtado
    Executive Director, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar

    “Reminiscent of some of the editing techniques of Germaine Dulac’s “Smiling Madame Beudet” and Su Friedrich’s early work, Filippo’s film goes even farther in making connections between U.S. consumption and overseas labor and asking questions about the relation of money to happiness. It is a far-reaching and riveting work.”
    Yvonne Rainer
    Filmmaker/Choreographer

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    The Trickle Down Theory of Sorrow is included in the following Special Collections.
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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

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