‘Rebel Reels’ highlights women in film


Even now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the vast majoirty of the films we get a chance to see are made by men and about men—leaving out 51 percent of humanity. But the upcoming Rebel Reels screening at the Center for Independent Artists is an inspiring antidote. It reveals women’s cinematic abilities and introduces three “sheroes”—past and present.

Diane Wilson tenaciously battles the Texas Gulf Coast giant petrochemical polluters (she’s a legend where I come from) . Georgie Sicking is a poet with a refreshing difference—she’s a cowgirl! I haven’t seen either of these films but, knowing curator Teresa Konechne’s work as a filmmaker, I’ve no doubt this is a high-quality and diverse bill.

Finally, a much-beloved Minnesota legend, journalist/poet/activist Meridel LeSuer is remembered in a poetic tribute by a collective of Twin Cities filmmakers. I have seen this eloquent and unusual film. Non-linear, with images as lyrical as LeSuer’s poetry, it’s a very unique approach to documentary cinema. The beauty of the natural world surrounds political struggles of labor, small farmers, war, and the women’s movement from the 1930s through the 1970s—all issues of deep concern to LeSuer in her organizing, journalism, fiction, and poems. The film really “centers” LeSuer in a historical/poltical context to make this flim double as an overview of much of the 20th century’s most important struggles.

“These are three of my favorite films that bring into focus the strength and depth of women, and of rebels,” says Konechne. ” In these days of extremes and a world that’s almost surreal in terms of corruption, technology, and imperialism, these women’s stories help us return to our roots and ground us in the ‘real’.”

I highly recommend this evening of films, which begins to fill the gap of how we see ourselves on screen.

“Rebel Reels” screens Wed. April 19, 7 p.m., Center for Independent Artists (CIA), 4137 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis; Sliding fees ranging from $5-$10.