April 19 2018 Women’s Artist Series: Girl from God’s Country

 

Elora Women's Film Society April 19 2018

This is a documentary about Nell Shipman, the first female independent film maker to pioneer the nude scene. She was also a pioneer animal advocate. In 1921, Shipman refused a contract with Sam Goldfish (later known as Sam Goldwyn) and moved to the Idaho wilderness with a zoo of 70 wild animals to write, direct, produce and act in movies portraying women as self-reliant heroines who rescued their male leads. Shipman performed her own stunts and developed an uncanny rapport with her animal actors. The film reveals the forgotten legacy of Shipman and a generation of female silent film pioneers. The documentary includes rare footage of these artists, including minority filmmakers, Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong. Geena Davis and women directors discuss gender-inequities Nell and her counterparts faced that perpetuate in today’s film industry.

The Company of Strangers

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In this feature film, 8 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs’ legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.   1990 | 1 h 41 min   Cynthia Scott

Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada

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Feminism has shaped the society we live in. But just how far has it brought us, and how relevant is it today? This feature documentary zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking.

2014 Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada– Karen Cho, Director (Documentary, NFB) 87min.

 

 

After the Montreal Massacre, 1990

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After the Montreal Massacre, 1990, 27 min 14 s

 

December 6, 1989. Sylvie Gagnon was attending her last day of classes at Ecole Polytechnique, an engineering school in Montreal, when Marc Lepine entered the building. Systematically separating the women from the men, he opened fire on women students, yelling “you’re all a bunch of feminists.” Sylvie survived a bullet wound to the head while fourteen other women were murdered.

After the Montreal Massacre is a useful tool for helping us come to terms with these murders and how they relate to the larger picture of male violence against women. Women throughout Canada and the world are expressing a growing concern about the widespread violence and mounting fear in their daily lives. The haunting images taken on the day of the massacre and in the days following, set the stage for an exploration of the urgent issues of misogyny, male violence and sexism.

Testimony from Sylvie Gagnon about what the massacre means to her, conversations with a group of college students, and interviews with noted writers, feminist activists, and leaders of organizations for women, contribute to this moving and important documentary which provides a challenge for change in our political, social and personal lives.

1990 After the Montreal Massacre — Gerry Rogers, Director (Documentary, NFB/CBC) 27min.

 

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The Burning Times

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This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times.

 

1990  The Burning Times –Donna Read, Director NFB, 56min.

 

 

Films inspired by Women’s History Month, October 23 2016

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832be60abe3e0b8b1d1077d5745fe989The Burning Times

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times.

 

1990  The Burning TimesDonna Read, Director NFB, 56min.

 

Canadian Women’s History Shorts

THE “TEACUP” EDUCATIONAL VIDEO
This entertaining 3-minute video was developed to introduce school-age children to the story of the Famous 5 women, and can be used in classroom settings to kick off lessons or stimulate discussion.

Heritage Minutes by Historica Canada about 2 members of the Famous 5: Emily Murphy and Nellie McClung and Agnes McPhail the first female Member of Parliament of the Dominion of Canada.

88d2790cd1d5598286f8fca709eeccbbWomen on the March

This feature film in two parts is an exploration of the women’s suffrage movement. Spearheaded by women like Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Suffragettes realized they would have to become radical and militant if the movement was going to be effective. There followed many demonstrations, and imprisonments until the women’s vote was finally granted, in 1918 (Britain) and 1919 (Canada, except Quebec.)

1958 Women on the March–Douglas Tunstell, Director (Documentary, NFB)  58mins.

Granny Power

Granny Power by Jocelyne Clarke, Magnus Isacsson (78 minutes)

Granny Powergrannies

Granny Power spans 10 years in the original activist movement of the Raging Grannies as they fight and sing for peace, social justice and the environment. Originating in Victoria B.C. with a fight against American nuclear submarines in the Inner Harbour, the Raging Grannies’ gaggles spread across the world. The active, passionate, dedicated women challenge authorities and stereotypes with humour, courage,and songsheets. They are inspiring role models for all of us!

GRANNY POWER is a documentary about a very original activist movement – the Raging Grannies. Spanning 10 years, the film follows several passionate, activist grandmothers and their “gaggles” as they fight for peace, social justice and the environment.

From Occupy Wall Street sites in Canada and the U.S., to demontrations against nuclear arms, the Montebello G-20, arms fairs and protests at military recruitment centres, the film follows several Grannies – Muriel Duckworth, Alma Norman, Molly Klopot and Connie Graves among them – as they undertake surprising political guerrilla actions, challenging authorities and stereotypes alike.

The film spans the present and the past of the Raging Grannies movement: from its beginnings 25 years ago in Victoria, B.C., to its present as an international movement. The film is also a window on important issues that concern us all: our role as citizens as we grow older, the challenges of aging, the inevitability of death. Remaining active and finding a voice as elderly women, these grannies are deflating clichés about aging and proving that life can be lived to its fullest, in every way, to the end.

Director Magnus Isacsson first encountered the Grannies while shooting scenes for films about major political, social and environmental issues. Most of our footage was shot in classical vérité style, by one of Canada’s best documentary cinematographers, Martin Duckworth.

This is a documentary about an important, growing and radically under-represented segment of the population. As citizens become more passionate about expressing political dissatisfaction with the status quo the Raging Grannies are proving to be an inspiration and a symbol of proud civic engagement for audiences of all ages.

Herons and Monks

hmposterHerons and Monks by Elizabeth Zetlin (9 minutes)

Herons and Monks is a short film that is both temporary and timeless; it is an exploration of stillness, patience, gathering, and releasing – a consecration of the sacredness of all life.  Keira McArthur’s haunting soundscape of cello and voice accompanies a lyrical narration by poet/filmmaker Liz Zetlin.

This meditative film juxtaposes two species, each mesmerizing in their own way. An eighty-four year old monk from Bhutan creates a medicine sand mandala, while great blue herons and egrets from the Gulf of Mexico stalk their prey.
Birds of myth and elegance, herons are at home on earth, in air and water. They are a symbol of good luck and patience, and the heron’s harsh cry was believed, by the ancient Egyptians, to announce the beginning of time.
In the Buddhist tradition, the creation and dissolution of a sand mandala, made from millions of coloured particles of sand, is a metaphor for the impermanence of life. “Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.”*

Herons and monks – both temporary and timeless – is an exploration of stillness, patience, gathering, and releasing. A consecration of the sacredness of all life. Keira McArthur’s haunting soundscape of cello and voice accompanies a lyrical narration by poet/filmmaker Liz Zetlin.