Reel Affirmations 2006
Review by Will Doig
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Saturday, 10/14/2006, 5:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $9 at Goethe Institut Inter Nationes
THERESE SHECHTER PUTS together a decent compendium of feminism through the past several decades in I Was A Teenage Feminist, linking the movement to her own life and the lives of her friends. Though the film comes to no distinct conclusions, it does offer up plenty of food for thought, especially for those of us residing in places where the women’s rights movement is taken for granted. One of the best bits of Shechter’s film comes when she interviews passers-by on a street to ask them about feminism. After defining it as a movement for respect and equality for women, a female respondent, asked if she then considers herself a feminist, simply says ”no.”
Those not already interested in the subject matter may find themselves amused by Shechter’s self-consciously amateurish home movies, in which she and her friends banter while the camera rolls (boyfriends and vibrators are discussed in the same breath as grocery lists). But unless the topic of feminism normally grabs you, you might find your mind wandering when it comes to the activism sections. Still, it’s a respectable early venture into the world of documentary film.
Less satisfying is Look Us in the Eye ( ), a short about old women involved in progressive activism. Though it raises a few solid points, the film mainly comes off as overly pedantic and self-righteous. It’s heavy on assertions and light on facts, and is almost a blueprint for conservatives who think liberals are just a gang of humorless language-enforcers who march in parades. You’d expect old ladies — excuse me, ”old women,” as they insist on being called (otherwise you’re ageist) — to be more fun than this. — Will Doig