This collaborative project is an ongoing collective archive of interviews with feminist experimental filmmakers started in 2017 by feminist filmmaking students at UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis. Our students were invited to each select a filmmaker, research their work in detail, and invite the filmmaker to have a conversation with them.
While the women’s film festival in Taiwan has an almost-20-year history, and many female directors in Hong Kong have been making their marks since the 1930s, women’s cinema is still in its infancy in mainland China. Although they came from different backgrounds, Ying Xin, Dan Li, Juan Jiang and Zhao-Yu Li shared a common desire to do something about women and arts, so the four first launched the first China Women’s Film Festival covering four cities in 2013.
These two shorts give us insight into seven women: Barbara Hammer, Maya Deren, Carolee Schneemann, and Gunvor Nelson as subjects and speakers; Lynne Sachs and Deborah Stratman from behind the camera. Watching both films, I wonder what connections there are to be drawn. Does the recent surge in filmic portraits of female trailblazers point towards a ‘feminine sensibility’, long overdue for historical recognition?