Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Heretics Panel at the Green Mountain Film Festival

One of the films at the Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier this year was The Heretics, a film by Joan Braderman about some of the women in a feminist art collective in New York who put out Heresies magazine, published irregularly from 1997-1993.

Jane Pincus, Lois Eby and I were on a panel afterwards. Jane actually had back issues of the magazine, which are displayed on the floor, and I brought two bags of books about women artists.

Unfortunately there wasn't enough time for a really good discussion, as the next film needed to be screened to keep everything on schedule.

I'm the one without the scarf. Gender is such a central consideration. Another film in the festival that I just saw today was XXY, a drama about a young hermaphrodite in South America whose parents have refused to have her operated on. Her father says he felt when she was born that she was perfect. It becomes clear, seeing this young person who possesses both sexual parts, that we are all human and lucky to enjoy the pleasures life affords us of our minds and bodies. It kind of makes you wonder what the big deal about gender is. It is a mystery, but then so is racism and religious fundamentalism -- all those other ways that cast others as scary or disgusting monsters, somehow so different from us that we cannot empathize with them.

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