Sep 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm
RESIST, REFORM, REPEAT: Women’s Voices and Las Madres
With Terry Lawler
RESIST, REFORM, REPEAT: Women & Activism is the launch of a new series: FROM THE VAULT: WOMEN’S ADVOCACY ON FILM, a program co-presented with Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). In this program, we present nonfiction films that have shaped movements, provide perspectives on political, environmental, and human rights issues; and confront ideas around gender identity, gender roles, sexuality, health and family, all from a woman’s perspective. Following the program, we will host discussion around these explorations of story and truth, their innovative approaches to documentary filmmaking, and their subjects that continue to be relevant today to filmmakers, activists, and media consumers working to creatively affect change.
In this first installment, we will showcase two films that illuminate women’s participation in reform and protest in the 1980’s. The series is curated by WFPF Co-Chair Kirsten Larvick, with programming assistance from Ann Deborah Levy and Raquel Salazar-Foster.
Women's Voices: The Gender Gap
16 min., 1984, dir. Jenny Rohrer
Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap explores the growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women (called the gender gap) that could no longer be denied by the mid-1980’s. Director Jenny Rohrer brings together a diverse group of women to discuss their perspectives on current political issues such as fair pay, health care, labor and unions, the environment, and reproductive rights, which became wedge issues in Ronald Reagan’s America. Interwoven through these interviews are witty animated sequences from cartoonist Nicole Hollander, creator of the comic Sylvia.
“Superbly produced, it’s apt to send viewers–male or female–dancing to the polls.”
– New Age Journal (1984)
“Women who work selling Avon products and as teachers, housemakers, dairy farmers and students bring alive the statistics proving that foreign policy and social programs are women’s issues.”
– In These Times (1984)
“‘The Gender Gap is an attempt to let women speak with their own voices about the issues of the day.”
– Bob Koehler, Lerner Booster Newspaper (1984)
“While Gender Gap was certainly not designed for male audiences, it may prove disconcerting to the few men who do see it.”
– Catherine Rambeau, Detroit Free Press (1984)
Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza del Mayo
64 min., 1985, dir. Lourdes Portillo and Susana Munoz
The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an Academy Award nominee, tells the story of a group of mothers, who have all lost a son or daughter during Argentina’s “Dirty War” in the 1970’s when thousands of people disappeared. They come together in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires and demand to learn the fate of their children.
“Few films have captured the emotion of solidarity as acutely as does this documentary by Susana Munoz and Lourdes Portillo. The filmmakers don’t pin halos on their heroines; they simply let them speak, and the women’s fierce nobility breaks your heart.”
– The New Yorker, on The Mothers of Plaza De Mayor, 1986
Terry Lawler is Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television. She is a Vice President/Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance and serves on the advisory committee of Reel New York, an independent film and video series broadcast on WNET/13. She also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Katahdin Foundation. Prior to joining NYWIFT, Lawler was Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies and National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has been a media consultant for foundations and non-profit groups including the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Goethe Institute, among others. She was production executive on several network television specials. She also was Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992), which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle in 1992, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990.