The Cancer Journals Revisited

THE CANCER JOURNALS REVISITED is prompted by the question of what it means to re-visit and re-vision Black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde’s classic 1980 memoir of her breast cancer experience today. At the invitation of filmmaker Lana Lin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, twenty-seven writers, artists, activists, health care advocates, and current and former patients recite Lorde’s manifesto aloud on camera, collectively dramatizing it and producing an oration for the screen. The film is both a critical commentary and a poetic reflection upon the precarious conditions of survival within the intimate and politicized public sphere of illness.
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Love Between the Covers

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS was selected as the #1 choice of all 2015 videos by the American Library Association's Booklist Review. Romance fiction outsells all other genres of writing, from crime to science fiction, combined. So why is the genre so often dismissed as frivolous "scribble"? Could it be that it's because the overwhelming majority of writers and readers are women? This funny and inspiring look into a billion dollar industry turns up trailblazers who push the discussion on gender, race, sexuality and diversity at the front lines of the biggest power shift in publishing. In LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS Emmy Award® Winning director Laurie Kahn (TUPPERWARE!, A MIDWIFE'S TALE) turns her insightful eye towards another American pop culture phenomenon: the romance industry. Creating online empires and inventing new markets are authors like Beverly Jenkins, a pioneer of African American romance, Len Barot (aka Radclyffe, L.L. Raand), a surgeon and lesbian-romance legend who started her own publishing house, and the incomparable Nora Roberts. This documentary offers fascinating insights into the history and popularity of this female-centric literary world.

Book LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS filmmaker Laurie Kahn to speak at your university
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Regarding Susan Sontag

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Endlessly curious, passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. This beautifully constructed documentary tracks Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words as read by Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books to her first experience in a gay bar; from her early marriage to her 15-year relationship with legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism continue to resonate today. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast nationwide on HBO.
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Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman. Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple. Her early life unfolded in the midst of violent racism and poverty during some of the most turbulent years of profound social and political changes in North American history during the Civil Rights Movement. Mixing powerful archival footage with moving testimonials from friends and colleagues such as Howard Zinn, Angela Y. Davis, Gloria Steinem, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg and Danny Glover, ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, intellectual, self-confessed renegade and human rights activist.
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Violette Leduc: In Pursuit of Love

The French author and memoirist Violette Leduc was a controversial pioneer. Her taboo-breaking memoir, La Bâtard, (The Bastard), became an enormous literary success. Through her work, she confronted the experience of being an illegitimate child, homosexuality, abortion, and explored with intensity and total candor the reaches of female desire – all scandalous, indecent subjects for macho 1950s France. A contemporary of Sartre, Cocteau and Genet and published by Albert Camus, she was encouraged to write by Simone de Beauvoir, whom Leduc was in love with. De Beauvoir secretly awarded her a pension for 15 years until Leduc had her own successful following. After decades of toiling in obscurity, Leduc would go on to publish the lesbian classic Thérèse and Isabelle. Director Esther Hoffenberg uses rare archival footage of Leduc, interviews with friends and scholars, and the author’s own words to rediscover the impact of Leduc’s work and sketch the controversial woman behind them and one of lesbian literature’s giants.
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Esther Broner: A Weave of Women

Prolific writer, passionate activist, dedicated scholar and pioneering feminist, Esther Broner infused second wave feminism with a distinctive Jewish voice. In the mid-1970s, as the women’s movement was vastly changing views on gender and equality, Broner created a radical new Haggadah (the text for the Passover service seder) that preserved but reimagined Jewish rituals and culture by shifting the focus onto women. Transforming the male-centered service into a powerful reclamation of women’s lives and stories, it became, under Broner’s leadership, the basis for a Jewish feminist tradition that continues today. This inspiring documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Lilly Rivlin revisits Broner’s richly engaged political, artistic and spiritual life through archival photos, video footage spanning several decades, and interviews with family and friends, including Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Grace Paley, and other famous feminists. Drawing its title from one of Broner’s celebrated novels, the film helps explore the intersection of feminism and religion, and helps answer the question, is there room for feminism and religious tradition in a traditionally male dominated space?
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Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer

Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk. This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.
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Jasad & The Queen of Contradictions

Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded Jasad (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine. Dedicated to the body’s art, science and literature, Jasad is one of the first of its kind in the Arab world and has caused a big debate in the Arabic region not only for its explicit images, erotic articles and essays on sex in Arabic but also for the fact that an Arab woman is behind it all. Despite Beirut’s external appearance of freedom portrayed through its infamous nightlife and women’s stylish and open revealing fashion sense, this is all still taboo. JASAD & THE QUEEN OF CONTRADICTIONS, by Lebanese director Amanda Homsi-Ottosson, tackles the subject of sexuality in Lebanon, giving insight on the rare use of the Arabic language to discuss sex and erotica. Different views regarding the magazine and sexuality are also given by the head of a women’s rights organization, a sexual health educator and a doctor who performs hymen reconstruction surgeries. Despite the debates, the threats and the lack of funds, one passionate woman shows no sign of slowing down her small steps towards a “sexual revolution” in the Arab world.
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The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima

She remains the most famous woman poet of the Beat Generation; her friend Allen Ginsberg called her “heroic in life and poetics.” THE POETRY DEAL is an impressionistic documentary about legendary poet Diane di Prima. Still actively writing in her late 70s in San Francisco, where she is poet laureate, di Prima is fierce, funny and philosophical. She is a pioneer who broke boundaries of class and gender to publish her writing, and THE POETRY DEAL opens a window looking back through more than 50 years of poetry, activism, and cultural change, providing a unique women’s perspective of the Beat movement. Much of the story is told through di Prima’s recorded readings, including a deeply moving reading of her unpublished poem The Poetry Deal, reflecting on her relationship with her art. Essential for women’s studies, poetry studies, women’s history courses and more, THE POETRY DEAL puts di Prima’s life and work on screen in a unique, beautiful portrait using rare archival footage, impressionistic scenes and powerful stories told by friends and colleagues.
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Poetry of Resilience

Academy® Award nominated director Katja Esson’s (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) exquisitely made film explores survival, strength and the power of the human heart, body and soul—as expressed through poetry. She highlights six different poets, who individually survived Hiroshima, the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, the Kurdish Genocide in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Iranian Revolution. By summoning the creative voice of poetry to tell stories of survival and witness, each reclaims humanity and dignity in the wake of some of history’s most dehumanizing circumstances. POETRY OF RESILIENCE gives us an intimate look into the language of the soul and brings us closer to understanding the insanity of war and how art will flourish, in spite of any obstacle.This film is recommended for courses in poetry studies, literature, peace and conflict studies and genocide studies.
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No Job For A Woman: The Women Who Fought To Report WWII

When World War II broke out, reporter Martha Gellhorn was so determined to get to the frontlines that she left husband Ernest Hemingway, never to be reunited. Ruth Cowan’s reporting was hampered by a bureau chief who refused to talk to her. Meanwhile, photojournalist Dickey Chappelle wanted to get so close to the action that she could feel bullets whizzing by. This award-winning documentary tells the colorful story of how these three tenacious war correspondents forged their now legendary reputations during the war—when battlefields were considered no place for a woman. Narrated by Emmy® Award winner Julianna Margulies, this film features an abundance of archival photos and interviews with modern female war correspondents, as well as actresses bringing to life the written words of these remarkable women. Their repeated delegation to the sidelines to cover the “woman’s angle” succeeded in expanding the focus of war coverage to bring home a new kind of story— a personal look at the human cost of war. NO JOB FOR A WOMAN: THE WOMEN WHO FOUGHT TO REPORT WWII has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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Sweatshop Cinderella: A Portrait of Anzia Yezierska

In the forefront of early twentieth-century American literature about immigrant women’s lives, Anzia Yezierska’s work includes short fiction, novels, and essays, and her output spans 50 years. SWEATSHOP CINDERELLA, by award-winning filmmaker/historian Suzanne Wasserman, vividly depicts this Jewish immigrant writer’s amazing story. Arriving from Poland around 1890, Yezierska’s family settled on the Lower East Side, where she toiled in sweatshops and laundries, studying English at night. Defying her parents, she pursued her education and became a teacher. Twice married and divorced, she also had a daughter. At the urging of philosopher John Dewey, with whom she fell in and out of love, Yezierska devoted herself full-time to writing stories and novels in Yiddish-English dialect that won awards and rave reviews. Soon Hollywood, which turned two of her works into movies, beckoned her to write screenplays. When disenchantment with that world set in, she returned to New York, writing and publishing her best work between 1922 and 1950. Using archival stills and footage, silent film excerpts, letters, newspaper clippings, and interviews, this is a major contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Yezierska and her work.
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Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh

At only 22, Hungarian poet Hannah Senesh made the ultimate sacrifice – having already escaped Nazi-occupied Europe for Palestine and freedom, she returned, parachuting in behind enemy lines in a valiant effort to save Hungary’s Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. Captured immediately upon crossing the border into Hungary, Hannah was tortured and taken to a prison in Budapest, yet she refused to reveal the coordinates of her fellow resistance fighters - even when they also arrested her mother, Catherine. Hannah became a symbol of courage for her fellow prisoners, encouraging them to remain in good spirits, never losing faith in her Jewish identity, even as she was led out to be executed by firing squad. Narrated by Academy Award® Nominee Joan Allen, BLESSED IS THE MATCH is a truly moving memorial that brings to life this Holocaust heroine through interviews with Holocaust historians, eyewitness accounts from those on the rescue operation as well as in the prison, rare family photographs and the writings of Hannah and her mother. The film recreates Hannah’s perilous and heartbreaking mission, reconstructs her defiant months in the Gestapo prison and – through Hannah’s diary entries and poetry – looks back on the life of a talented and complex girl who came of age in a world descending into madness.
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Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?

A multi-layered work featuring animation, archival footage and interviews with the likes of William Burroughs, Carolee Schneemann and Richard Hell, Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker by Austrian artist Barbara Caspar and co-produced by Annette Pisacane (Nico Icon) and Markus Fischer, is a thoughtful and creative film biography/essay on the late outlaw writer and punk icon, whose formally inventive novels, published from the ’70s through the mid-’90s, challenged assumptions about gender roles, sexuality, and the literary canon. A beguiling and intensely contradictory figure, Acker is best known for books which creatively appropriated texts from Great White Male writers, retelling them in an emotionally raw, sexually blunt, and politically questioning female voice. With her conceptual art videos in the ’70s, her close-cropped dyed blond hair, her tattoos, and her piercings, Acker was a performance artist, proto riot grrl, and living link to the transgressive authors of the ’50s and ’60s US and French experimental fiction scenes. Caspar has made a film that captures the essence of both Acker the writer and Acker the person while celebrating the avant-garde legacy of an artist who forever expanded the limits of self-expression. — Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
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Tillie Olsen: A Heart in Action

This revelatory documentary is an inspiring homage to Tillie Lerner Olsen – a renegade, revolutionary, distinguished fiction and non-fiction writer, feminist, humanist, labor organizer and social activist. Politically active, class conscious, deeply joined to the world, Tillie countered the very core of American writing by immortalizing the lives of working class women and single mothers. Her short stories “Tell Me a Riddle,” and “I Stand Here Ironing,” galvanized the literary world and set in motion an essential new perspective on the lives of ordinary women. Filmmaker Ann Hershey tells not only the story of Olsen as a writer, but also documents her life as an activist. Extended interviews with Olsen during the last years of her life are deftly interspersed with footage from her readings, lectures and book signings as well as with archive materials and comments from notable feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Alice Walker. A perfect companion film in courses covering Olsen’s literature, this documentary is also recommended for women’s studies, labor studies, political studies and American history courses.
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A Woman's Word

Beautiful and intimate, A WOMAN'S WORD depicts the life and writings of three exceptional authors of the Arab word – Nawal Al Saadawi from Egypt, Hanan Al Shaykh from Lebanon, and Janata Bennuna from Morocco. For all three women, becoming a writer was never a choice but a necessity – a vocation fought for and hard won. In her own way, each writer struggles as an Arab woman in a society that often wants to shut down her powerful voice. Conveying the intense drive of these women to write as a way to make sense of the world, to battle their sense of alienation or to express their political dissent, this documentary shatters the clichéd image of the oppressed and helpless Arab woman too often portrayed in the media. A WOMAN'S WORD deftly weaves together interviews, family photos, voiceovers of each author reading from her work, and lingering, sensual footage of the cities each woman lives in. Each author discusses her childhood, her development as a writer, and the political and cultural forces that have shaped her life and work. By allowing the viewer to enter, for a moment, into the vibrant lives of these authors, this film offers an accessible introduction or insightful companion piece to the works of these authors.
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Freedom Road

FREEDOM ROAD is a barren stretch that leads in and out of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. Yet for some of the women incarcerated there, freedom has been redefined through the power of the pen. A testament to the profound influence of arts and education, Lorna Johnson’s compelling film features six female prisoners who are part of a unique memoir-writing workshop called “Woman is the Word.” Reading classic autobiographies such as INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL by Harriet Ann Jacobs and THE CANCER JOURNALS by Audre Lorde, the women are empowered to claim the events of their own lives and retell their own stories—ultimately liberating them from long-held secrets and silence. Moving interviews with the women inmates, their instructors and family members combined with verité footage of their fascinating classroom discussions reveal how poverty, under-education, domestic abuse have had a role in the destiny of many women in the program. Ultimately, the film examines the devastating cycle of imprisonment for the poor and underprivileged, and points to an inspired embodiment of prison reform.
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The Edge of Each Other's Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde

This powerful documentary is a moving tribute to legendary black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992). One of the most celebrated icons of feminism's second wave, Lorde inspired several generations of activists with her riveting poetry, serving as a catalyst for change and uniting the communities of which she was a part: black arts and black liberation, women's liberation and lesbian and gay liberation. Nowhere was this more apparent than the groundbreaking I AM YOUR SISTER CONFERENCE which brought together 1200 activists from 23 countries, including thrilling footage of the inimitable Lorde herself, and candid interviews with conference organizers. THE EDGE OF EACH OTHER'S BATTLES powerfully brings Lorde's legacy of poetry and politics to life and conveys the spirit, passion and intensity that remains her trademark.
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Between the Lines: Asian American Women's Poetry

BETWEEN THE LINES offers rare interviews with over 15 major Asian-Pacific American women poets. Organized in interwoven sections such as Immigration, Language, Family, Memory, and Spirituality, it is a sophisticated merging of Asian-American history and identity with the questions of performance, voice, and image. This engaging documentary serves as poetry reading, virtual anthology, and, perhaps most importantly, moving testimony about gender, ethnicity, aesthetics, and creative choice. The carefully edited interviews and poems read reflect the filmmaker's desire to show both individual voice and diversity within the Asian-American women’s community. Theoretically as rich as the images and poems provided, there is also an implicit conversation in the film about the possibility and usefulness of an Asian-American women’s aesthetic/poetic. Using carefully selected archival images, historical footage, and brilliant photography as the scrim through which we hear the poets, BETWEEN THE LINES provides important and lively viewing for literature, history, ethnic and women’s studies classes.” - Joseph Boles, Visiting Scholar, Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr
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Grrlyshow

An 18 minute explosion of fringe feminism and print media, The GRRLYSHOW is a powerful and rebellious message from new voices often left unheard. Filmmaker Kara Herold examines the girly Zine revolution and culture in such a way that the film intellectually and stylistically addresses anyone's question concerning whether or not feminism has reached it's 3rd wave: the postmodern. By interweaving head-shot interviews, clips from the zines and 1950's television-esque vignettes, Herold clearly illustrates feminism's ability to exist subversively within a system that generally doesn't give women their own voice . The GRRLYSHOW successfully brings to the surface alternative voices and projects that are vital to the continuation and expansion of feminism. An excellent film for mass communication, women's studies and pop culture courses. "A perky peek at the alternative media community where self-publishing gals are doin' it for themselves. Aware, irreverent, entertaining, even brilliant, these zine creators relish the irony that to speak in one's unique unfettered voice is to touch others more powerfully than with the traditional blanded-down mainstream mag approach. Viva the grrly zines!" Al Hoff, Pittsburgh City Paper & Creator, Thrift Score zine
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The Female Closet

This fascinating film from renowned filmmaker Barbara Hammer combines rare footage, interviews, and rich visual documentation to survey the lives of variously closeted women artists from different segments of the 20th century: Victorian photographer Alice Austen, Weimar collagist Hannah Höch, and present day painter Nicole Eisenman. In a compelling examination of the art world’s treatment of lesbians, Hammer documents how the museum devoted to Austen ignores the implications of her crossdressing photos, how the Museum of Modern Art glossed over Höch’s sexuality in a major exhibit, and how Eisenman’s work based on patriarchal porn is described by critics as “liberating, fun, and over the top”. Examining the museum as closet, and the negotiation of visibility and secrecy in lesbian history, this thoughtful film is a provocative look at the relationship between art, life, and sexuality.
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2 Or 3 Things But Nothing for Sure

Acclaimed author Dorothy Allison (BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA) is profiled in this moving, inspiring film. Combining poetic imagery with powerful readings, it evokes Allison's childhood in the poor white American South of the 1950's, her birth as a writer and feminist, and her coming to terms with a family legacy of incest and abuse. A beautifully realized portrait of an artist and survivor, this stirring film provides important insights into the roots of self-renewal and creativity.
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The Desert Is No Lady

With provocative imagery and spirited juxtapositions, THE DESERT IS NO LADY looks at the Southwest through the eyes of its leading contemporary women artists and writers, including author Sandra Cisneros. The nine women profiled are Pat Mora (poet), Sandra Cisneros (writer), Lucy Tapahonso (poet), Emmi Whitehorse (painter), Harmony Hammond (painter), Meridel Rubinstein (photographer), Nora Naranjo Morse (sculptor), Pola Lopez de Jaramillo (painter) and Ramona Sakiestewa (tapestry artist). The Southwest is a border territory - where cultures meet and mix - and the work of these nine women from Pueblo, Navajo, Mexican-American and Anglo backgrounds reflects its special characteristics. THE DESERT IS NO LADY is a vibrant celebration of the diversity of women's creativity and changing multicultural America. "An inspiring tapestry of history, imagination and daily life. I highly recommend it." - Vicki L. Ruiz, Arizona State University
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The Body of a Poet

An imaginary biopic, THE BODY OF A POET centers on the efforts of a group of young lesbians of color to devise a fitting tribute to one of this century's great visionaries. Its genre-bending celebration of the life and work of Audre Lorde, black lesbian poet and political activist, daringly meshes diverse media conventions and techniques as it explores Lorde's trajectory from birth to death. Refreshing and visually stunning, this brave film features assured acting by a dedicated cast and a taut script comprising the work of contemporary African American lesbian poets.
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Halving the Bones

Skeletons in the closet? HALVING THE BONES delivers a surprising twist to this tale. This cleverly-constructed film tells the story of Ruth, a half-Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who has inherited a can of bones that she keeps on a shelf in her closet. The bones are half of the remains of her dead Japanese grandmother, which she is supposed to deliver to her estranged mother. A narrative and visual web of family stories, home movies and documentary footage, HALVING THE BONES provides a spirited exploration of the meaning of family, history and memory, cultural identity and what it means to have been named after Babe Ruth!
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A Place of Rage

This exuberant celebration of African American women and their achievements features interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker. Within the context of the civil rights, Black power and feminist movements, the trio reassess how women such as Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer revolutionized American society. A stirring chapter in African American history, highlighted by music from Prince, Janet Jackson, the Neville Brothers and the Staple Singers.
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Beyond Imagining

Bold literary visionary Margaret Anderson founded the journal Little Review in 1914, an overlooked but profound influence on American literature. Anderson introduced writers such as Gertrude Stein, Emma Goldman, Djuna Barnes and Ezra Pound, and went to trial for publishing excerpts from James Joyce's new work, ULYSSES. Immersed in her own pointed, charismatic writings, this engrossing profile follows Anderson's inspiring life and travels. Anderson resisted censorship, meager finances and mediocrity in her unflagging search for literary enchantment; this film reveals her life to be her greatest creation.
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Lady Lazarus

LADY LAZARUS weaves a visual response to Sylvia Plath's own readings of her work, including DADDY, ARIEL and selections from THE BELL JAR. Elegiac but unsentimental, this evocative film celebrates the legendary writer, her macabre humor and the resonance of her words. Drawn irresistably towards Plath's haunting voice-recorded during the final years before her death in 1963-the film's figurative Lady Lazarus is a young woman who acts as a spiritual medium for the writer during a seance. Set in Massachusetts and England, where Plath spent her life, LADY LAZARUS translates Plath's poetry into a carousel of stark, deeply poetic imagery.
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As I Remember It

This intimate portrait of writer Dorothy West explores the forgotten role of women in the Harlem Renaissance. From the perspective of her 83 years, the still active writer relates her memories of growing up African American, privileged and enthralled by literature. Archival footage and photographs, interviews and excerpts from her autobiographical novel, THE LIVING IS EASY, capture West's fascinating story.
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Flesh and Paper

FLESH AND PAPER is a lyrical exploration of the sense and sensibilities of Indian lesbian poet and writer, Suniti Bamjoshi. This moving and powerful portrait of a unique and brave woman weaves Namjoshi’s life and writings into a sensual tapestry. Born into an Indian royal family, Namjoshi discusses her reasons for leaving India (she fell in love with her best friend), and her experiences as a cultural outsider in the U.S. Showing how “language invents worlds,” her vision as an Indian lesbian feminist is informed both by a lesbian consciousness and a deep Indian cultural framework. A prolific writer who has been widely published in the U.K., Canada and India over the past twenty years, Namjoshi’s poems, fables and novels are characterized by her wit and wry, satirical sense of humor. Shot on location in Devon, England as well as at the Old Palace in India, the film includes interviews with young Indo-British lesbians, expressive readings and choreographed dance segments. Sharing her life with fellow writer and poet Gilllian Hanscombe, Namjoshi’s passionate correspondence with her love reflects the intimacy and detail of this meditative piece. With great visual beauty and lyricism, FLESH AND PAPER, captures the spirit of Namjoshi’s poetry in an evocative, multi-layered way.
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Memory/all echo

“Based on selections from late Korean-American writer Theresa H.K. Cha’s ‘Dictee’, this work by filmmaker Yun-ah Hong gives primacy to her staccato, patterned prose. Her chosen words--sometimes written across the screen, more often spoken by three voices--deal with Korean cultural and personal identity in a range of ways both confessional and contemplative, concrete and abstract. Hong weds them to images as varied, including historical footage and silent dramatic enactment. Their often incantatory combination--as if echoing Cha’s thought that ‘truth. . . oblivious to parallels other durations. . . oblivious to itself’ –conveys a recurring sense of loss and need. Though at once emotionally intriguing, ‘Memory/all echo’ still demands multiple viewings for fuller appreciation in art and social studies.” -Jeff Clark, James Madison University Library
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I Is a Long-Memoried Woman

This extraordinary film chronicles the history of slavery through the eyes of Caribbean women. A striking combination of monologue, dance, and song—griot-style—conveys a young African woman’s quest for survival in the new world. Based on award-winning poems by Guyanese British writer Grace Nichols, the evocatively rendered story charts abusive conditions on sugar plantations, acts of defiance and the rebellion which led to eventual freedom. Produced by a Black women’s collective, I IS A LONG-MEMORIED WOMAN illuminates Black diasporic culture and heritage.
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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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There Was An Unseen Cloud, Moving

A deft and intentionally fragmented "biography" of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Victorian traveler who, dressed as an Arab man, became a Muslim and a writer in Algeria at the turn of the century.
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Emergence

Common themes of identity, alienation and herstory in the context of the diasporan experience emerge in this powerful film. Four Black and Third World women artists, among them African American feminist poet Audre Lorde and Palestinian performance artist Mona Hatoum, speak forcefully through their art and writing.
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Master Smart Woman

From the award-winning director of THE WHITE HERON and THE TWO WORLDS OF ANGELITA, this loving portrait is a much deserved re-evaluation of Sarah Orne Jewett's contribution to American literature. Recently rediscovered by feminist literary scholars, Jewett was a fiercely independent woman, a critically acclaimed 19th century author, and an important role model for a generation of women writers.
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Mitsuye and Nellie

This absorbing documentary examines the lives of Asian Americans through the inspirational poetry of Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong. Interviews, rare archival footage, intimate family scenes and a lively dialogue between these fascinating women underscore the different histories of Chinese and Japanese Americans but also shared experiences of biculturalism and generational difference. Ideal for literature and poetry classes, women's studies and Asian American groups.
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A Jury of Her Peers

On a desolate American farm in the early 1900's, a farmer is found murdered in his sleep and his wife is jailed as the prime suspect. A powerful adaptation of the 1917 Susan Glaspell short story of the same name, based on her play "Trifles", A JURY OF HER PEERS presents a riveting tale of revenge, justice and women’s shared experience. Equally relevant in women’s studies courses and for use with organizations battling violence against women, this riveting feminist classic probes the notion of women’s victimization and justifiable homicide and opens the possibility for the creation of an alternate, feminist justice and judgment. Two women, a neighbor and the sheriff’s wife, find themselves in the accused woman’s kitchen while the prosecuting attorney and their husbands search the farm for motive for the crime. As the camera lingers on small details in the kitchen – spilled sugar, a broken chair, crooked stitches in a quilt piece – the motive becomes clear as the suspect’s isolated life of physical and emotional abuse is revealed. As each new clue further incriminates the accused, the women must decide whether to reveal the evidence against her and become, in effect, a jury of her peers.
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They Are Their Own Gifts

A three volume set of film portraits--Muriel Rukeyser, Alice Neel and Anna Sokolow. The poetry, painting, and dance of these three women is not artistic purism, but the product of a life conducted within social fabric. Through interviews, photographs and her own poetry readings, Muriel Rukeyser is shown as a civil rights and political activist. "This film shows beautifully how Rukeyser's courageous and independent life and her fierce and compassionate lyricism are forged to make the long poem that is her life." --Galen Williams, Executive Director, Poets and Writers. Portrait painter Alice Neel has created a psychological and spiritual history of the modern era, as it has been registered in the human face. "A dazzling portrait of an exuberant and vivacious painter." --Dr. Joyce Rosa, Professor of Art History, Long Island University. Anna Sokolow's choreography and dance draws on her early life experience with poverty and oppression. "Modern dance was originally an expression of social concern. This film illuminates both a period that needs to be recalled and a leading choreographer who grew out of that period." --Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic, New York Times.
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La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua

Finally available in the United States, this classic film from acclaimed novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar is essential viewing for an understanding of women in Algeria. Taking its title and structure from the “Nouba," a traditional song of five movements, this haunting film mingles narrative and documentary styles to document the creation of women’s personal and cultural histories. Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs. In lyrical footage she contemplates the power of grandmothers who pass down traditions of anti-colonial resistance to their heirs. Reading the history of her country as written in the stories of women’s lives, Assia Djebar’s LA NOUBA DES FEMMES DU MONT-CHENOUA is an engrossing portrait of speech and silence, memory and creation, and a tradition where the past and present coexist. Widely hailed as one of the most important figures in francophone Maghrebian literature, Djebar is the author of more than a dozen books, including A SISTER TO SCHEHEREZADE and WOMEN OF ALGIERS IN THEIR APARTMENT. She is currently Professor and Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies at the Louisiana State University.
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The Yellow Wallpaper

This short dramatic film brings to life the classic Charlotte Perkins Gilman story of the same name, which has become an important addition to American literature course curricula. Set in the late 1800s, the story features Elizabeth, an aspiring writer who becomes ill and is forced by her doctor and her husband to take a "rest cure." Completely isolated, her mind creates a world inside the wallpaper in her room-a world in which a woman is trapped and unable to escape.
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