April 10-12, 1992
Kresge Town Hall
University of California, Santa Cruz
Film is a medium which has the capability to encompass a variety of academic disciplines and to transform them. Although most closely aligned with fictional narratvie in its storytelling structure, film can be used to engage the audience in ways that expand what we often conceptualize as the traditional narrative. Independent women of Color filmmakers such as Ana Maria Simo (Livia, How to Kill Her), Pratiba Parmar (Flesh and paper, Memory Pictures, Khush) and Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust, Illusions) have used ethnography, historical studies, sociolinguistics and fictional narrative to create thought provoking and sometimes controversial images of women of Color in the United States and in other parts of the world. While as of late we have seen what is often called an "explosion" of talent and work from African American male filmmakers, the work of African American women and other women of Color is virtually unknown. In most cases these works are under 60 minutes (due to funding constraints) and are only available through small distributors that specialize in distrbuting the works of independent filmmakers. Unfortunately, format length and lack of monied distribution resources assures that very few members of these filmmakers' ethnic comunities will actually have an opportunity to see the artist's work. The loss is great for all, both persons of Color and Euroamericans. Women of Color filmmakers are creating new cinemagraphic languages which are based on their experiences both as women and as persons of Color, as individuals and as members of ethnic communities which have great diversity.
Our intent in organizing the film festival has been to provide an important oportunity for members of both the university and greater Santa Cruz communities to be challenged and inspired by the visions of some of the many fine filmmakers doing work in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and England. In providing the opportunity to see the works we hope that [the] staff, students, community members, and faculty will have the opportunity to see the possiblity of the uses of these and other films by people of Color in the classroom, at cultural events, and in your own work. These are some of the different ways that we can support these artists. The works of these women say most profoundly: if you can conceive of an image of your cultural reality but do not see it reflected around you, then create it. During this festival we celbrate those women who are taking on the challenge of creating the visual legacy of The Colors of Her Language.
--Margaret DanielBack to Top
Archival note: Film synopses appeared on the festival poster. Festival program did not provide distributor information.
7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Zeinabu Irene Davis
1988 15:00 black & white
An experimental film which focuses on a Black woman who is waiting for her menstrual cycle. Davis' attempt to discover a film language that is unique to the daily life of African American women results in "a brilliantly innovative reflection of Black womanhood."
1982 34:00 black & white
Set in 1942 at a fictitious Hollywood studio, this is a story of two Black women, one a studio executive who appears to be white and another who is the singing voice of a white star, both dealing with a society that perpetuates false images as the status quo.
1989 25:00 black & white
A poignant study of sexual and generational conflict between a Chinese American daughter and her divorced mother, who has had her eyes surgically altered to make them rounder.
1989 29:00 black & white
An observation on the deep and complex psychological effects of racism on two racially mixed children of Japanese women and American servicemen (one Black and one European) in the late 1950's and 1960's.
HAIRPIECE: A FILM FOR NAPPY-HEADED PEOPLE
(U.S.) 1985 10:00 color
An animated satire on the question of self image for Black women living in a society where beautiful hair is viewed as hair that blows in the wind and lets you be free.
COFFEE COLORED CHILDREN
Ngozi A. Onwurha
(U.K.) 1988 15:00
A semi-autobiographical testimony to the profound internalized effects of racism, and the struggle for self-definition and pride for two mixed-blood children growing up with a white mother and without an absent Black father, in an all-white neighborhood.
(U.S.) 1980 23:00 color
This fast paced film is a rich visual collage of murals, photographs, news clips, paintings, prints and documents that trace the history behind the traditional and emerging roles of Chicanas from the Mexico of pre-Colombian times to the United States of the present.
7:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
(U.S./Argentina) 1980 25:00
Within this autobiographical portrait, Susana leaves her native Argentina to live her life outside the strictures of Latin American culture and family pressures. Diverse mediums are used to render the cultural context in which female, sexual, and ethnic identity is shaped.
THE MARK OF LILITH
Burna Fionda, Polly Gladwin, Isiling Mach-Nataf
(England) 1986 32:00
Zena, a black lesbian is researching why the goddesses of one culture become the demons of another. Lillia is a white vampire who has left her male lover. Their ensuing relationships enables them both to find answers to questions of how racism and sexuality impact on each other.
WOMEN OF GOLD
Eileen Lee and Marilyn Abbink
(U.S.) 1990 22:00
A documentary showing the participation of Asian American lesbians of different backgrounds in the Gay Games. This film explores the experiences of women who often competed with their lovers/partners at the games. It also includes interviews of the women speaking about their experiences of being gay and Asian American.
HONORED BY THE MOON
(U.S.) 1990 15:00 color 1/2"
In this upbeat and empowering video, Native American Lesbians and Gay men speak of their unique spiritual and historical role. Interviews with leading activists and personal testimony attest to the painful and positve experiences of being Native and Gay.
HER GIVEAWAY: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY WITH AIDS
(U.S.) 1987 22:00 color 1/2"
A portrait of a Native woman living with AIDS. Her "giveaway" to the larger AIDS community is more than just basic information. It is an inspiring example of the Native American philosophy of illness. The film also confronts the official invisibility of women, Native Americans, and lesbians with AIDS.
AMONG GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLES
Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield
(U.S.?) 1991 30:0 video
Co-director Woodson tells an autobiographical tale of a Black lesbian who was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. It explores three worlds colliding: Blackness, Gayness, and Religion.
(U.K.) 1990 30:00
Parmar portrays the experiences of south Asian Lesbians and Gay Men. Through dream sequences, narrative, and interview, Parmar weaves complex histories of men and women who are isolated from a larger culture yet who retain cultural mediums in structuring a community and individual notions of the sensual and the erotic.
HOW TO KILL HER
Ana Maria Simo
(U.S.) 1988 15:00
Adapted from a play written by the director, this humorous and compelling film tells the story of a Latina lesbiana trying to regain her sense of self after an intense relationship with an enigmatic Latina. She wanders the streets, alternately imagining how to kill her ex-lover and remembering the sensuality and romance between them.
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Elena Tajima Creef
Barbara Ige (facilitator)
7:30 p.m. - 11:00
MY FILMMAKING, MY LIFE: MATILDE LANDETA
(England/Mexico) 1990 30:00 color video
A documentary of the life of Landeta, the first Mexican woman filmmaker, a pioneer in an industry still virtually closed to women. Interviews with contemporary Mexicana filmmkaers and Landeta, now in her 70's.
KNOWING HER PLACE
(U.S./India) 1990 40:00 color video
A documentary portrait of the "cultural schizophrenia" faced by an Asian Indian woman who has spent most of her life in America. Through the woman's relationship with her elderly mother and her adolescent son, the video probes the multi-layered conflicts that immigrants, particularly immigrant women, confront in coming to terms with who they are and where they belong.
SECRET SOUNDS SCREAMING: THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN
1986 30:00 color video
This video explores the abuse of young people as a power issue. In focsuing on societal issues it addresses how race and class impact on sexual abuse, the frustrations of the legal system, and the media's role in eroticizing children.
WHAT YOU COULD DO WITH A NICKEL
Cara de Vito and Jeffrey Kleinman
1982 30:00 color 16mm
The story of 200 Black and Latin women in the South Bronx who in 1977 attempted to form a domestic workers union. The women were struggling with more than one enemy: the city, the agency that paid them, the Teamster's Union, and the isolation that each woman experienced working in a different home. A documentary about women whose struggle opened the door for other women's gains.
THE CONFRONTATION: LATINAS FIGHT BACK AGAINST RAPE
1983 37:00 black & white
A young Chicana is raped coming home from a party. Her friends and a group of rape crisis center counselors decide on an alternative response to acquaintance rape: confronting the rapist at his workplace. An empowering docudrama which draws disturbing connections between racist and sexist violence.
PUAMANA - Bay Area Premier!
Les Blank, Meleanna Aluli Meyer, and Chris SimonBack to Top
A portrait of Irmagard Farden Aluli, one of Hawaii's best loved and most prolific songwriters on Hawaiian traditional themes of love for the land, the people, and the spirit of the islands.
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