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Beyond Voluntary Control
A film by Cathy Cook
2000, 30 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W02760
Acclaimed filmmaker Cathy Cook (THE MATCH THAT STARTED MY FIRE) breaks new cinematic territory by devising a new visual language that explores the psychological and emotional effects of physical confinement in her latest film, BEYOND VOLUNTARY CONTROL. Stimulating the senses through haunting and poetic images, the film imaginatively conveys the obsessions, phobias and illnesses constricting personal freedom. While lyrically meditating on the limits of the body, Cook incorporates the evocative movements of modern dancer, David Figueroa, and blends a mesmerizing soundtrack set to the poems by Emily Dickinson and Sharon Olds. Through Figueroa’s gestures and dance, along with a moving interview of Cook’s own mother suffering from Parkinson’s, the film succeeds in humanizing and reconciling the effects of physical metamorphosis and stasis. Through artistry and visual astuteness, BEYOND VOLUNTARY CONTROL innovatively investigates the limits of human physicality and movement.


  • Telluride Experimental Film & Video Festival
  • Madcat Women's International Film Festival
  • Black Maria Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival, Best Editing Award
  • Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival
  • Women's Film Festival, New Mexico

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us