1991 Films

The Right to Care Canada 1991 Laura Sky It’s no secret anymore that nurses have a had a rough deal. Laura Sky’s insightful analysis of this much underappreciated profession follows the working lives of five nurses and their increasing frustration in a world that needs a quick diagnosis and effective healing.
Full Circle Canada 1991 Donna Read Following Goddess Remembered and The Burning Times, Read’s next installment Full Circle completes the trilogy as she explores the development of contemporary women’s spirituality.
When Women Are Crazy Canada 1991 Rosemary House An Atlantic Film Festival Award winner, this film is House’s experimental “study six words-quarks” (Truth, Beauty, Strange, Charmed, Up, Down) home grown in a St. John’s backyard, metaphorically, symbolically, and locally appropriately overshadowed by the towers of the Basilica.
The Making of Most Things Canada 1991 Gail Collins This documentary pays tribute to the filmmaker’s grandmother, Elizabeth Gale, an original furniture maker from White Bay with a big talent for wood. A testimony to a woman’s silently expressive accomplishments as well as a tribute to local supporters (such as the people at NIFCO for helping to make the film a reality).
The Last Supper Canada 1991 Christine Taylor, Lily Fortin Putting the spirit right back in the body where it belongs, this feminist skin flick answers the musical question: what would happen if, instead of 13 guys sitting around breaking unleavened bread, there were 13…? Dining at this wholly unconventional meal are witches, mothers, daughters, amazons, feminists, and lesbians--in short, women with more than bare breasts in common.
Mother Earth Canada 1991 Terre Nash A composite film in celebration of over 50 years of productions. No words are necessary to describe the poetic narrative, as the moving pictures speak thousands of years. Beginning with natural harmony, moving through to the destruction of the earth, and concluding with rebirth and hope. It’s an old and maybe romantic story, but it’s ours.
After the Montreal Massacre Canada 1990 Gerry Rogers In an attempt to understand what happened at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique on December 6th 1989, Rogers explores the the bigger context beyond campus, to the reality of the violence in our society as a whole. Not only the feminist video to persist in capturing something of the fear that women face, but perhaps the only one so far to ask what we can do to ease the terror and prepare for a better future.
Women Like Us UK 1991 Suzanne Neild A fascinating oral history documenting 16 lesbian lives ranging from ages 50 to 80+, and all that that implies. Full of cheer, elan and candour, watching this film will make you feel the ground breaking and the walls tumbling.
Perfect Image? UK 1988 Maureen Blackwood The struggles of self-image for black women in a world promoting whiteness as a marketable virtue. With surprising humor and enthusiasm, this film explores the problem women encounter when black reality bumps up against white aesthetics.
Sisters in the Struggle Canada 1991 Dionne Brand, Ginny Stikeman A special festival presentation, this film covers Canadian bases that are rarely touched in Newfoundland--notably, what happens when sexism is compounded by racism. Essentially an analysis of the conflicts in Canada endured by women of color, Sisters in the Struggle relies on the voices of activists from various labour and political organizations to convey the severity of subordination.
Night Visions Canada 1989 Marusia Bociurkiw A courageous video that dares to go where no woman has gone before--into the uncertain terrain of lesbian relationships, political conflicts, censorship realities, and artistic expression. Night Visions deserves to be seen as a first tentative experiment in the narrative representation of homophobia. Leave closed minds at the door.
Dana’s Hair Ego: AIDS Information Up Front USA 1990 Ellen Spiro A must see video with an admittedly weird title. The filmmaker turned her lens on a cosmetologist in South Carolina who decided to take the business of AIDS Education into her own beauty salon. The result is a funny documentary about a remarkable woman who hennas her customers’ hair while dispensing condoms and safe sex pamphlets. What first started as a simple cut and dry business has since turned into a major information resource centre.
Maria's Story UK 1990 Madonna Wall, Pamela Cohen This international documentary follows 39-year old Maria Serrano, a leader in the El Salvador guerrilla movement who lets us in on her daily struggles.Poverty and civil war mixed forcefully to shape maria’s active and often dangerous life. Bullets fly and the camera jiggles, but the filmmakers and Maria pressed on to record her story.
International Sweethearts of Rhythm USA 1986 Greta Schiler A tribute to the multi-racial, all-women’s jazz band of the 1940’s. More than just another musical romp through history, this film explores the incredible resistance these women faced in the light of both segregation laws and prejudice of almost every know ugly vulgarity. Schiller’s film swings at once with insight and celebration, plus it;s got a great beat you can dance to.
Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of the Angles Canada 1991 Maya Gallus Forget the television version of this fascinating documentary. This study of a fascinating woman’s life shows us that Elizabeth wasn’t just Smart--she was Extraordinary. Deliberately socialized to live the life of an Ottawa debutante, Smart struck out for the bohemian territories and never looked back. From Ottawa to the life of illicit passion--how did such a leap ever get made? And at what cost?
C’est La Vie France 1990 Diane Kurys This partly autobiographical feature pays affectionate homage to life as a girl. C’est La Vie explores the changes from the point of view of a young girl whose parents are on the verge of divorce during summer holidays. The result is an enriching and often amusing look at the not-so-pleasant subject of dissolution.
Strings Canada 1991 Wendy Tilby Irresistibly charming and full of grace, this astonishingly accomplished piece of animation tells the story of the occupants of 2B and 3B. SHe builds model ships; he plays the violin. She bathes to his music; he measures his music by her footsteps. One day the bath leaks and the two are forced to meet. Painstakingly constructed out of delicately painted glass, this film moves on the screen like ballet.
Privilege USA 1990 Yvonne Rainer A daringly brilliant study of menopause, a subject so rarely explored by men, women, doctors and filmmakers that you don’t even know what to think about it anymore. Rainer explores it with a bulldozer. Angry at nature and society, both conspiring to undermine the dignity of women at least 20 years before men ever worry about drooling and senility. An intriguing analysis, Privilege will give you lots to think about long after the film is over.
Elling Lien