the thing about a film festival that focuses on films made by women is that i cant seem to get the underlying theme of the ‘women’s point of view’ out of my head. although bishakha tried to displace that by saying that the agenda was good cinema and not necessarily gender- then why such a film festival? that too the second year in a row traveling across innumerable cities in the country. i wonder whether my reactions to the films i saw yesterday would have been different if they were lets say- being shown on tv or in an encounter in college .. still i guess every screening has its own chemistry and one can only judge form the particularity of the situation one has experienced..
‘harlequin’ by lotte reiniger (the blurb said that she directed the first animated feature film) charming black and white silhouetted animation about a romancing cad, his various affairs and his eventual salvation with the undying support of his lady love.
‘mona lisa descending a staircase’ and ‘the dowagers feast’- joan c gratz - two clay –animation films,, the first where classic works of art morphed into one another.. while in the second forms and colors danced across the screen in abstract formations reminiscent of buds, innards, landscapes.. both did almost nothing for me except get me to raise an eyebrow- ” typical american cleverness – no heart.
‘my body’ european film about a woman’s relationship to her own body. every single aspect was religiously covered from self worth, pregnancy, bad toes, bad teeth, smiling for photographs, bulimia, anorexia, slimming clothes.. nothing new for someone who has spent two years in
‘the day i became a woman’ – marziyeh meshkini.. iranian films have their own brand of exotica.. charming small stories with small characters but saying really large things- or so we are supposed to think..
episode 1- a girl shares candy with her male friend for the last time before she is forced ot wear the veil as she has reached puberty.
episode 2- a girl is ostracized from the family and her tribe for wanting to finish a bicycle race.. episode 3- an old woman with the help of street urchins finally buys all that she has longed for in her life and it is set out to sea in a series of rafts.. when the narrative becomes so simplified the entire movie somehow becomes a metaphor- an allegory. unfortunately none of the meanings that i could read in the rather simplistic (not necessarily in a good way) imagery were anything that went beyond pat homilies about the status of women in islamic societies.