This collection of works made by women and dedicated to feminist subject matter is political, poetic and provocative. The works explore the complexities of identity and womanhood, addressing often-difficult issues such as domestic violence, body image and poverty, and locating the intersections where language, race, class and gender collide.
“Fem Crit, a creative and thought-provoking compilation of seven super 8 and 16mm short films, presents candid and edgy kaleidoscopes of women’s personal experiences and reflections... These films showcase a range of creative narrative and filmmaking styles - useful for class discussion on women from a variety of perspectives. These films can also serve as a springboard for the production of independent film and video projects.”
—Debra Mandel, Educational Media Reviews Online
1) Women Are Not Little Men by Lisa Hayes (1998 / 16mm / 15 min.)
Contemporary and archival images are contrasted against the text of a 1950’s training manual, exposing and critiquing the widespread belief in the existence of a weaker sex.
2) Dandelions by Dawn Wilkinson (1995 / 16mm / 6 min.)
Wilkinson looks at her self - black - and wonders how in the white landscape called Canada she can “enjoy the flowers,” as she cartwheels with great panache through fields of them.
3) Keltie’s Beard by Sara Halprin (1983 / 16mm / 9 min.)
Before Keltie came along, the women in her family removed their facial hair and told no one. Keltie is proud of her beard and tells her story to us in this single-take film.
4) Speakbody by Kay Armatage (1980 / 16mm / 8 min.)
With a mix of documentary, experimental and narrative techniques, “Speakbody” interweaves the voices of women recounting their experiences of abortion.
5) Sally’s Beauty Spot by Helen Lee (1990 / 16mm / 12 min.)
Using Sally’s mole as a metaphor for cultural and sexual difference, this stylish and playful account of racial expectations and role-playing critiques Western stereotypes of Asian femininity.
6) Pustulations by Lisa Morse (2002 / 16mm / 8 min.)
Using the painting-on-glass technique, this animation explores one woman's compulsion to pick at her skin and the purulent, pustular world beneath it.
7) I Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses by Melissa Levin (2002 / Super 8 / 2 min.)
What’s more sexy than a dyke caressing the edge of her glass? A bevy of local ladies lining up to take their's off.
Fem Crit: Experimental Works for Educational Environments
Lisa Hayes, Dawn Wilkinson, Sara Halprin, Kay Armatage, Helen Lee, Lisa Morse, Melissa Levin
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
Download a free study guide with an essay by Chantelle Oliver & Megan Boler, with prompts and questions for classroom discussion, resources for further reading, and viewing recommendations.