We are not sisters even though we are together (2014), dir. Magdalena Bermudez
We are not sisters even though we are together is an essay film exploring themes of displacement, identity and portraiture through the stories of two women from Finland and the Netherlands. Throughout the piece, Seija Halva and Brigitta Witteveen remember their homelands as they work in their gardens. Their longing for place leads them to create their own landscapes and form a relationship with their new soil in the United States. Reactivating the art historical genre of the sister-portrait, the film parallels the experience of longing between the two women, interweaving their voices and images. Sister-portraits are unique in the history of family portraiture due to the reciprocal status of sisters within a family structure. These portraits could not conform to the formal aesthetic rules of other family portraits, which were based on hierarchies of gender and age. Creating a balanced portrait of both women, the piece follows them through their gardens, swims and reflections on the different ways they access their home-places. Cutting between 35mm photographs, super-8 film, 16mm film, VHS footage, HD video and screen captures, the piece shifts as the documentation of local histories is carried and altered over years and hemispheres.
Behind the Torchlight (2013-2014), dir. Emily Drummer
Behind the Torchlight creates a transhistorical space—a place neither here nor there—that reflects the missing history of “the usherette” in early American cinemas. Using found footage and original footage shot at an abandoned movie palace in Brooklyn, NY, the film abstracts historical temporality. At once on display and concealed by the partial darkness of the theater interior, usherettes served as objects of fantasy for moviegoers and were themselves spectators. The film visually addresses the concept of a female historical figure at the margins by adopting the symbol of the usherette’s torchlight as a guiding thread.
What We Should Be Doing (2014), dir. Molly McNulty Epstein
What We Should Be Doing is a narrative short film that tells the story of a family haunted by death. In the wake of national tragedy, this suburban family finds themselves plagued by the many ghosts the events of September 11th left behind.
All Things That Rise Must Converge (2013), dir. Sasha Hsuczyk
All Things That Rise Must Converge is an experimental documentary film about the legendary, deceased Irish fiddler Julia Clifford. Shot in Super 8 around her childhood locality of Sliabh Luachra in the southwest of Ireland, the film uncovers layers of meaning between a person’s essence, places significant to their life, the spirit, sounds, what can be left of a person when they are gone – and ultimately how we can invoke their inner being as a tribute to them. The film creates a space for the viewer to reflect and meditate on Clifford’s spirit. The wider scope of the project addresses women’s issues in Ireland and Clifford’s role as a pioneer in paving the way for the recognition of female musicians.