photo: ina archer: wyoming, post RNC "minstrel show" starring Clint Eastwood Here's the fabulous Flotilla Debarge's take on the chair dance!(ps; for sensitive ears, the language is a little Blue, in more ways than one...)
A timely and entertaining 22 minutes, please watch Kartemquin's The Gender Gap Movie preserved in part with funding from NYWIFT's Women's Film Preservation Fund. Then confirm your polling location and VOTE!
(From the Lincoln Center Screening this past Oct.)
Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap
Jenny Rohrer, 1984
USA | 16 minutes
This rare screening of this remarkable and incredibly timely
film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Jenny Rohrer
(director), Nancy Meyer (co-producer), Nicole Hollander (cartoonist),
Page Gardner (Founder/President, Women’s Voices, Women Vote Action Fund
and The Voter Participation Center), Amy Richards (author/activist),
and Faye Anderson (filmmaker/public policy consultant).
As America gears up for the presidential election, an undeniable gender
gap is apparent between the two candidates. This film was made to
mobilize women voters before the 1984 election, when Ronald Reagan was
running against former vice president Walter Mondale. The documentary
explores the growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women
(the gender gap) that could no longer be denied by the mid-1980's. These
issues, including equal pay, environmental justice, subsidized
childcare, job creation, and healthcare, became wedge issues in Ronald
Reagan's America as more and more women joined the workforce. The film
tackles the subject of women’s voter participation and equal rights
with both humor and depth.
Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap interweaves testimony by a
diverse group of women discussing the issues that matter to them with
satirical animated scenes by the cartoonist Nicole Hollander, creator of
the comic strip Sylvia. The film was featured at the 1984
Democratic National Convention and screened at the National Convention
of the Organization of Women that same year.
The film was a product of the venerable Chicago filmmaking collective,
Kartemquin Films, the now 45-year-old institution whose mission is to
make socially conscientious documentaries that inspire change in
society. Women’s Voices is the result of a collective filmmaking process
at a time when women were underrepresented in film production, and were
rarely considered producers or directors.
When I saw Obama's tour of Tomb of Qar (with the same man who showed our family around on our trip so many years ago) I immediately thought of Lorraine O'Grady's work Miscegenated Family Album a sample of which is pictured above.
I’m reminded of a little incident about 20 years or so ago—Mom and I were sitting on a little beach in New Rochelle—which was odd, we didn’t really go to the beach in NR and I think we had on street clothes—maybe we were coming from Bloomingdale's or something…and it just didn’t seem like a real beach day. Anyway, there was a really straggly young family sitting on the sand. They had a messy, white blond daughter who was gangly and dirty in that crazy little kid way. She had an extremely scraggly and naked blond, almost bald Barbie doll, all covered with paint and crayon marks that she clearly adored. She came over and danced the doll in front of us singing a la la la song 1/2 showing off and 1/2 preoccupied with the doll. “What’s your dolly’s name?” my mother asked her. The girl stopped, surprised and pleased, I think to be asked, held up the doll Liberty torch style and announced proudly; “Martin Luther CRAYON”!
I’ve always treasured this memory—this little girl linking MLK and something colorful and familiar to a kid and a tool for expression. When I was little, I used to think of King as Martin Luther Kitty because he reminded me of a Siamese cat. (this image was @ reidreporeidreport.comrt.com)
But this image reminds me of a striking part of King's speech which they showed in it's entirety on CNN today. King is not merely redemptive, a hopeful dreamer. He also takes us to task and though the threat is not violent he warns:
"It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not
pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning.
Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be
content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as
usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the
Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will
continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of