Opens MAR.3:WOMEN WITH VISION Film Fest @ Walker Art Center


Opens:Fri. Mar. 3, 7pm, 9pm (screenings through Mar.18)
Some Highlight of this year’s WOMEN WITH VISION.

The 13th annual WOMEN WITH VISION Film Fest at Walker Art Ctr. has as its theme “Confronting Silence” and these films do so magnificiently and with many surprises.
You’ve got two chances to get a taste of some of this year’s treats from the Walker’s Film Curator, Sheryl Mousley. Thurs.Mar.2, 6pm, on MOVIE TALK and Tues. 11am on “Catalyst”, both broadcast on KFAI Radio, 90/3fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul online (archived for 2 weeks after broadcast)

Opening night:MAR. 3,
See the film Chile sent to this year’s Oscars, “Play”(“Playx”) written and directed by Alicia Scherson, who will be present to answer questions. A gritty urban love story set in contemporary Santiago, the film weaves in politics with two strangers discovering each other during one hot summer. 7pm Spanish/English subtitles Winner at Tribeca Film Fest 2005.

Remember View-Master ‘steroscopes’ from your childhood? Portland performance artist, Vladimir, playfully appropriates these toys and turns them into an interactive medium for her own narratives. Audience members will be issues a View-Master with disks and instructions so as to see the ‘films, click-by-click” that Vladimir has made with her own original musical score. The result is “Vladmaster”, with 4 performances from 9pm-11pm.

War is ususally looked at from the perspective of generals, natinal leaders and soldiers, but, “Gilaneh” looks at war from the perspective of women—and it’s especially relevent as the film is from Iran. Rakhshan Bani-Etemad. that country’s most prominent female film director, shows a widowed mother and her pregnant daughter search for the missing son-in-law/husband who’s deserted the army during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. The film jumps 15 years to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and how the scars of war linger for the two women. Showing the horrors of war, the film is a call for peace. 7pm Farsi/English subtitles.

Sun. Mar. 3:
“FIRE” by Deepa Mehta

There’s the rare chance to see all three of the films in Deepa Mehta’s ‘elemental trilogy’. From India and now living in Canada, Mehta’s feminist films have been controversial in her home country. The first film, “Fire”(1996) broke ground for taking on Lesbian women as its subject. Unlike so many “coming out” films, this one has all sorts of layers to it: traditional cultures, religion, gender rules and the “double-standard’. Gorgeously filmed and often sublte, it;s the story of two sisters-in-law, in loveless marriages, who’s friendship blossoms into love and desire. Like “Brokeback Mountain”, individual happiness is pitted against duty, but, in a far more complicated way. The spiritual quest and sexuality, marriage and the need for intimacy are all explored in provacative ways that cross cultures, even as they illuminate India’s contradictions for women and men. In English.

The other two films in Mehta’s triology will also be shown.
“EARTH”, Sun. Mar.12, 2pm
Set as India’s independence from British colonialism crumbles into sectarian religious violence, the film is both epic and personal. A group of friends from diverse backgrounds and religions vow to resist the splits happening in their country and events are beautifully observed through the film’s protagonsist:an 8-year-old Parsee girl.
Multiple languages with English subtitles
“WATER” Sun.Mar.18,8pm
Considered the most complex of Mehta’s trilogy, this 2005 film also looks to India’s past. Set in the late 1930s as Gandhi comes out of prison and continues Inida’s liberation struggle, the film is set in an ashram for widows—who are forced out of socieity after their husbands die. An 8-year-old widow from an arranged marriage is thrust into the diverse circle of women in exile.

Thur. Mar.9, 7pm
“Sisters In Law” a FREE screening
Co-directed by Florence Ayisi and Kim Longinottto, thisfilm is set in a small town in Cameroon where no man has been prosecuted for domestic violence in 17 years. But, that’s about to change as two women lawyers assume the jobs of prosecutor and judge. Since the village is Muslim and both tradition and religion silence batterred women, this is a sotry of enourmous courage.
DISCUSSION afterwards led by Nyango Melissa Naubangi, Executive Dir. of MN AFRICAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION

This year’s fest also includes films in the BLACKLISTED seriesthat looks at the McCarthy period in Hollywood, where the anti-Communisit witch-hunt destroyed careers. Film noir to labor anthems mark this remarkable series that reminds us of an historical period of fear-based censorship becoing more familiar today in the ‘war on terror’.

In one of the films you can see Minnesota actress GAIL SODERBERG in an odd piece of WWII film-making THE STRANGE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER, made in 1943. Soderberg, born in Litchfield,Mn., won the first Oscar for Supporting Actress in 1936(for her role in “Anthony Adverse”). She was blacklisted in the late forties and didn’t appear in a film again until 1969.The film screens Fri, Mar. 17, 9pm.

Interested in short films that take risks? Sat. Mar.17, 7pm, offers a banquet of them in EXPERIMENTS, including Stillwater,MN filmmaker EMILY HADDAD’s “Waiting for Jenny” and St. Paul’s CHERYL WILGRIN CLYNE’s “Three”.

And as always, there’s the annual GIRLS IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR, featuring films made by Minnesota girls and youth from age 8 to 18!

For complete schedule: (612)375-7600
WALKER ART CTR. 1750 Hennepin Ave.(by the Scupture Garden)near downtown Minneapolis