...And Woman Wove It in a Basket

For the Klickitat Indians in Washington, basket weaving is a way of reclaiming native forms and heritage. This evocative portrayal of basket weaver Nettie Jackson Kuneki and her family explores Klickitat river culture within an investigation of documentary practice and cultural preservation. Capturing native life as experienced by a contemporary Klickitat woman, the film presents her daily activities through seasonal changes, the documentation of her craft and a visual history of Indian tales and legends. Voices of the filmmakers' own quest supplement Kuneki's reflections, creating a unique tapestry of personal memory and cultural collaboration that is invaluable for ethnographic film studies, Native American collections and women's studies.
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I Need Your Full Cooperation/Underexposed

In these two compelling films, Kathy High explores the relationship between women’s bodies and the medical institution. Now a classic, I NEED YOUR FULL COOPERATION (1989, 28 mins) is a critical commentary on the patriarchal medical world and the past experimental techniques used to control female sexuality and reproductive capacities. Combining drama and documentary, UNDEREXPOSED: THE TEMPLE OF THE FETUS, (1992, 72 mins) is a savvy and creative documentary probe into the high-tech baby-making market and emerging reproductive technologies.
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A State of Danger

Shot in Israel and the Occupied Territories, this extraordinary documentary offers a unique, vital perspective on the Intifada seldom seen in U.S. mainstream media. Produced for the BBC, A State of Danger gives voice to Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, most of them women. Chilling testimonies to Israeli police brutality are supplemented by interviews with Israelis who support Palestinian self-determination. A STATE OF DANGER is a compelling, timely documentary that examines grassroots support, human rights and the role of Arab and Jewish women in bringing peace to the region.
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Two Lies

Doris Chu, a recently divorced Chinese American woman, has plastic surgery to make her eyes rounder. From her teenage daughter Mei's perspective, her mother's two eyes equal two lies. When the family journeys to a desert resort during Doris' recuperation, a series of revelations and bitter confrontations erupt. This beautiful black and white drama is a poignant study of generational conflict and the struggle for identity in a world of hybrid cultures.
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A Spy in the House that Ruth Built

Vanalyne Green appropriates the all-male arena of professional baseball to create a visual essay about family, loss, and sexuality. Confronted with such a strange wonderland, devoid of women, Green is compelled to reinterpret baseball's symbolism-its womb-like landscape, cycles, and rituals-to construct an iconography that pays homage to the female. With humor and irony, Green creates a film that is both a personal revelation and a heretical portrait of America's national past-time.
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How Nice to See You Alive

On March 31, 1964, a military coup overthrew the Brazilian government. Four years later, all civil rights were suspended and torture became a systematic practice. Using a mix of fiction and documentary this extraordinary film is a searing record of personal memory, political repression and the will to survive. Interviews with eight women who were political prisoners during the military dictatorship are framed by the fantasies and imaginings of an anonymous character, portrayed by actress Irene Ravache. Filmmaker Murat, like the interviewees, was herself tortured and imprisoned; her film shatters the silence imposed on the survivors and the collective will to forget.
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Color Schemes

An upbeat, ironic look at America’s multicultural society, COLOR SCHEMES uses the metaphor of “color wash” to tackle conceptions of racial assimilation. Challenging stereotypes, twelve writer/performers collaborate on four performance sequences—soak, wash, rinse and extract. Spinning through this tumble- jumble of America’s washload, the performers scheme to claim racial images that remain color vivid. Digital preservation copy now available for exhibition! Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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Positive Images

People with disabilities constitute nearly twenty percent of the American population. Sexism and often racism compound discrimination based on disability. Designed to provide positive, realistic pictures of the lives of women with disabilities and the social, economic, and political issues they face, POSITIVE IMAGES focuses on three strong and articulate women. Offering crucial role models for women and girls with disabilities, this powerful film also locates disability as a women's issue of concern to us all by discussing education, employment and careers, sexuality, family life and parenting, and societal attitudes.
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The Germans and Their Men

"If a woman doesn't have equal rights, is she equally responsible for the crimes of a nation?" Helke Sander's quasi-documentary turns a wry and revealing lens on German masculinity and national identity. This powerful critique offers popular sentiments and startling insights with biting wit and clarity, making provocative connections between feminism, fascism and the legacy of sexism in German history. Produced for ZDF (German television). "Still the best female helmer on the scene in Germany, Helke Sander takes her time between productions to pour as much personal philosophical reflection into her films as possible." -Variety
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Rule of Thumb

A sensitive film which explores domestic violence through the perspective of women who have left abusive relationships. Five women from different backgrounds discuss their ordeals and the concrete steps they have taken to eradicate fear and violence from their daily lives. Supplemented by testimonies from a woman judge, a police officer and a former abuser, this empowering film offers clear, concise instructions on obtaining an order of protection and other support services. "*** This thorough and well constructed work succeeds in informing the public about both prevention and intervention in regard to domestic violence. This project addresses its important and disturbing topic so well that it should be shown on every television station and in every schoolroom across the country." - Jury Comments, American Film and Video Association
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Peggy and Fred in Kansas

A few years older now, our boy and girl heroes mumble and chant their way through mid- America's wasteland. Thornton's interest in the line between language and thought becomes disturbingly apparent.
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Visions of the Spirit

This intimate and inspiring portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker explores the compassion, insight and strength that have made her one of the most admired women in the United States. Filmed at Walker’s California home, in her Georgia hometown, and on location with the film crew of THE COLOR PURPLE, VISIONS OF THE SPIRIT shows us Walker as mother, daughter, philosopher, activist and of course, writer. Featherston’s film explores the roots of Walker’s southern African American feminist consciousness through in-depth conversations with the writer and members of her family. African American feminist literary scholar Barbara Christian places Walker in the history of African American literature, archival footage of the civil rights movement provides background for Walker’s political vision. A perfect introduction to the writer for literature, African American and women’s studies classes, libraries and general audiences.
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Home Avenue

With commanding cinematic style, Montgomery retraces events of a night nine years ago when, between her boyfriend's dorm and her parent's house, she was raped at gunpoint. Super 8 camera in tow, she uncovers the psychology of the incident, relating how the authorities and her family tried to disavow her claims and the crime. Pondering the bland suburban landscape, her subsequent obsession with guns and the blurring of guilt, responsibility and betrayal, Montgomery boldly masters the trauma through memory, self-narration and artistic intervention. By the maker of ART FOR TEACHERS OF CHILDREN.
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With a Vengeance

This urgent and timely film is a history of the struggle for reproductive freedom since the 1960s, reflecting the wider history of the contemporary women's movement. WITH A VENGEANCE is an empowering look at the strength and breadth of the current women's movement which asks why current battles resemble those of the 60s. Rare archival footage and interviews with early abortion rights activists, including members of Redstockings and the JANE Collective, are intercut with young women who testify to the need for multi-racial grassroots coalitions. Flo Kennedy and Byllye Avery exemplify African American women's roles as leaders, making connections between racism, reproductive freedom and healthcare for the poor.
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Her Giveaway

Carole Lafavor (Ojibwe), activist, mother and registered nurse, is a person with AIDS. In this candid and moving portrait, Lafavor relates how she has come to terms with AIDS by combining her traditional beliefs and healing practices with western medicine. HER GIVEAWAY is more than just basic information—it is an inspiring example of how we can all learn from the Native American philosophy of illness. Produced by Smith (Dakota) for the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force, this film confronts the “official” invisibility of women, Native Americans and lesbians with AIDS.
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Love, Women and Flowers

At any time of year in the U.S., carnations of every color are plentiful and cheap – but the ready availability of these beautiful flowers comes at a global price. Thousands of miles away from the bright displays in U.S. stores, hazardous labor conditions endanger the 90,000 women who work in Colombia’s flower industry. According to a 2007 report, approximately 60 percent of all flowers sold in the U.S. come from Colombia, where the use of pesticides and fungicides – some banned in the developed countries that export them – has drastic health and environmental consequences. With urgency and intimacy, this film evokes the testimonies of the women workers and documents their efforts to organize. As women workers continue to struggle in this industry (in 2007 almost 200 workers were fired from the largest flower plantation in Colombia for their attempts to unionize and improve their conditions) this powerful and unique documentary remains an important resource for those interested in globalization, environmentalism, labor issues, social struggles, and Latin American studies. Restoration made possible by the support of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, the production, supervision and management of Felipe Colmenares, and the cultural exchange with the National Film Library of Ecuador "Ulises Estrella." A digital file of the restored version is available for exhibition and licensing. Please contact [email protected] for information.
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Dreaming Rivers

From Sankofa Film and Video comes this bittersweet and nostalgic short drama illustrating the spirit of modern families touched by the experience of migration. Miss T., from the Caribbean, lives alone in her one-room apartment, her children and husband having left her to pursue new dreams. When she dies her family and friends gather at her wake. The tapestry of words that interweave the drama convey the fragments of a life lived, but only partly remembered.
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Coffee Colored Children

This lyrical, unsettling film conveys the experience of children of mixed racial heritage. Suffering the aggression of racial harassment, a young girl and her brother attempt to wash their skin white with scouring powder. Starkly emotional and visually compelling, this semi-autobiographical testimony to the profound internalized effects of racism and the struggle for self-definition and pride is a powerful catalyst for discussion.
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Measures of Distance

In this resonant work, Palestinian-born video and performance artist Mona Hatoum explores the renewal of friendship between mother and daughter during a brief family reunion in war-torn Lebanon in 1981. Through letters read in voice-over and Arabic script overlaying the images, the viewer experiences the silence and isolation imposed by war. The politics of the family and the exile of the Palestinian people are inseparable in this forceful, moving film. With gratitude to the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at NYU, a digital preservation copy of this film now available for exhibition! Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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The Displaced View

THE DISPLACED VIEW is a film that movingly depicts the odyssey of an American-born Japanese granddaughter in search of her identity through her grandmother who is the last of the family born in Japan. The sense of isolation the granddaughter feels as a Japanese woman who cannot speak Japanese is skillfully evoked in a montage of images gleaned from old photographs, movies, animated puppets, and various experimental film techniques. Onodera focuses almost exclusively on Japanese women as preservers of the old traditions in a country where they have no meaning. By revealing the inconsistency of memory and the cultural erosion of assimilation, the fragile identity of the Japanese in North America is eloquently expressed, and the sense of alienation and displacement heightens as the old voices try to remember the past. The narrative shifts between English and Japanese, as well as between generations. Japanese subtitles are artfully displayed throughout. The focus on women makes this film ideal for women’s studies, but the historical overview would be important in other disciplines such as history and sociology. Highly recommended for academic libraries. -Roxanna Herrick, SUNY at Stony Brook Library
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Pregnant with Dreams

Engaging, intimate and fast-moving, this film reflects the diversity and richness of Latin American feminism by documenting the 4th Encuentro Feminista Latinoamericano y del Caribe which brought together more than 1,200 Latin American women for a week in Mexico in 1987.
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