From March 2–17, the Walker Art Center presents
Women with Vision 2007: Mirror Image
. The 14th annual international festival of films by women directors presents the best contemporary cinema, offering not only a reflection of our world, but also new ways of seeing ourselves. The first six features—from Italy, France, Scotland, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany—are grouped under the banner “New Europe.” Moving past post-colonialism, these dramas and comedies identify a place where people are united by their situations rather than separated by their differences. From America, filmmakers look deeply into our collective souls, some exploring the dark territories of fear and alienation, while others use humor to decipher regret and tolerance. From Iran come two films that add complexity and humanity to our understanding of life there.
Special programs include Animation from Zagreb (March 14, 7:30 pm), with a screening of new work by animator Nicole Hewitt; and a memorial tribute to French filmmaker Danièle Huillet (March 9, 9:30 pm), who died last October. And this year, the festival proudly presents two world premieres by local documentary filmmakers: Joanna Kohler’s Boxers will be screened at the Uppercut Gym in Northeast Minneapolis on Saturday, March 10, 9:30 pm; and Melody Gilbert’s Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness lets us experience the thrilling and dangerous world of urban exploration, Friday, March 16, 9:30 pm. Other highlights of this year’s festival include the opening-night presentation of the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear winner Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams, directed by Jasmila banic, on Friday, March 2, at 8 pm; Andrea Arnold’s Red Road, which was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, on Sunday, March 4, 2 pm; and the closing-night screening of Tata Amaral’s Antonia, on Saturday, March 17, 8 pm.The annual sidebar festival Girls in the Director’s Chair will take place on Saturday, March 3, featuring works by girls and young women.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are screened in the Cinema. Tickets are $8 $(6 Walker members) and can be purchased by calling the Walker box office at 612.375.7600 or online at walkerart.org/tickets.
WOMEN WITH VISION: MIRROR IMAGE
2007 FESTIVAL OF FILM AND VIDEO
Friday, March 2
Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams, 8 pm
Directed by Jasmila banić
Writer/director Jasmila banić, in an assured feature debut, exposes situations applicable to women who have experienced the agonies of war and its aftermath. Single mother Esma lives with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in Sarajevo’s Grbavica neighborhood, where life is still being rebuilt after the 1990s Yugoslav wars. When a discount on a school trip is offered only for shaheeds—those whose fathers died as martyrs in the war—Esma has to face her reasons for hiding the identity of Sara’s father. Grbavica, winner of the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival, provides a gripping portrait of mother-daughter relations with a nuanced performance by Mirjana Karanović as Esma. 2006, 35mm, in Bosnian with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
Saturday, March 3
As the Shadow (Come l’ombra), 7 pm
Directed by Marina Spada
Set in contemporary Milan, but examining universally poignant issues, As the Shadow delves into the reality of illegal immigration, falsified work permits, human trafficking, and smuggling. Claudia, a bored and lonely travel agent who studies Russian, finds herself in a complicated situation when she agrees to take in, for just a few days, her teacher’s beautiful “cousin” who is visiting from the Ukraine. As time passes without an end of the visit in sight, a friendship between the two women begins to emerge, and Claudia is pulled from her comfortable life into a world she does not know. Marina Spada captures the tone of these unequal relationships as power and control shifts from one person to the other. 2006, 35mm, in Italian with English subtitles, 87 minutes.
Support for the screening of As the Shadow (Come l’ombra) provided by Tina Cervone, Director, Instituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago.
Avenue Montaigne (Fauteuils D’Orchestre), 9:30 pm
Directed by Danièle Thompson
Selected as France’s official entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Avenue Montaigne is a modern fairy tale set in Paris. Jessica, a young woman from the provinces, lands a job waiting tables at a chic bistro on fabled Avenue Montaigne. Her uninhibited naiveté has a lasting effect on the lives of the wealthy, famous, and talented clientele she encounters. Juggling multiple narratives, Danièle Thompson successfully finds common ground between the young and old, the rich and poor through humor and compassion. “Avenue Montaigne is a bittersweet and consistently entertaining comedy that tackles the big themes of Life and Art with unpretentious brio” (Variety). 2006, 35mm, in French with English subtitles, 106 minutes.
Sunday, March 4
Red Road, 2 pm
Directed by Andrea Arnold
As video surveillance becomes common practice, concerns about security and the assault on civil liberties remain in the forefront of the American mind. Red Road examines the presence on the other side of the cameras and centers on Jackie, an operator of Glasgow’s arsenal of security cameras, who remains emotionally disconnected from her nightly observations of street life until a face from the past appears on her screens. First-time feature director Andrea Arnold, best known for her Oscar winning short Wasp, creates an intelligent and unusual voyeuristic thriller. Her uncompromising command of atmosphere and tension has been compared to the work of Micheal Haneke. Red Road was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. 2006, Scotland, 35mm, 113 minutes.
Support for the screening of Red Road provided by the Center for German & European Studies (CGES) at the University of Minnesota.
Wednesday, March 7
Longing (Sehnsucht), 7:30 pm
Directed by Valeska Grisebach
One of the stand-out features from the 2006 Berlin Film Festival competition, this deceptively modest love story is set within the everyday milieu of provincial German life. Markus is a welder and a volunteer fireman with an enviably happy marriage to Ella, his childhood sweetheart. One weekend the local firefighters go on a training session in a neighboring town, and after a drunken night Markus wakes up next to Rose, a local waitress. He returns home to Ella, but it seems he is reluctantly and unexpectedly in love with both women. Informed by her own meticulous research and a background in documentary filmmaking, Valeska Grisebach’s approach is mirrored in the subtle performances of her largely non-professional cast. “Here a glance or a shift of the head can speak volumes, and the piercing melancholy of Markus’ drunken solo dance is easily on a par with Fassbinder or Denis” (Sandra Hebron, London Film Festival). 2006, Germany, 35mm, in German with English subtitles, 88 minutes.
Thursday, March 8
Falling, 7:30 pm
Directed by Barbara Albert
Five female classmates who have experienced varied successes and hardships over the past 14 years reunite for their favorite teacher’s funeral. Barbara Albert wrote the script with these well-known Austrian actresses in mind, allowing for engagingly genuine performances that reveal the jealousy, affection, and growing class divide that tests their relationships. “Falling gives form to the most abstract philosophical concerns using the simplest of materials. And as Albert reveals her characters’ emotions one layer at a time, the effect is transfixing” (Toronto Film Festival). 2006, Austria, 35mm, in German with English subtitles, 88 minutes.
Support for the screening of Falling provided by the Austrian Consulate General in Chicago.
Friday, March 9
Day Night Day Night, 7:30 pm
Directed by Julia Loktev
Set in New York and based on a 2005 Russian newspaper article about a Chechen rebel, this is the story of an unnamed woman who arrives at the airport, waits for hours in an anonymous hotel room, and then sets out on her mission the next day. Day Night Day Night, the remarkable first fiction feature from Julia Loktev (director of the award-winning documentary Moment of Impact), unfolds in two distinct parts. As spare and concerned with minutiae as the film’s first half is, so is its second half forceful and teeming with suspense, fear, and emotion. The unnerving effect of the film is enhanced by its verité style and further bolstered by the exceptional performance of first-time actor Luisa Williams. Festival awards include the Prix Regards Jeune at Cannes, Directors’ Fortnight, and the Chicago International Film Festival’s Fipresci Prize. Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. 2006, U.S., 35mm, 94 minutes.
In Remembrance of Danièle Huillet: 1936–2006
Not Reconciled, preceded by En rachâchant, 9:30 pm
Directed by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
When French experimental filmmaker Danièle Huillet died in October 2006, she left a legacy of more than 20 films and short works that forged a new cinematic language. Two lauded collaborations with her longtime partner, Jean-Marie Straub, will be screened.
Not Reconciled, their first feature film, is based on Nobel Prize–winner Heinrich Böll’s novel Billiards at Half-Past Nine, which examines the effects of National Socialism on three generations of a German family. By condensing and rearranging the text and conceptualizing it in the theatrical style of Bertolt Brecht, the film criticizes Böll’s conviction of the inevitability of events leading up to Nazi power. The directors had to flee Germany and hide their film from Böll’s publishing house, which had obtained a court order to destroy the print. Years later, after Not Reconciled was acknowledged as one the most important films of new German cinema and its directors were placed in the modern cinema canon with Dreyer and Bresson, Böll sent a note of apology. 1965,Germany, in German with English subtitles, 35mm, 51 minutes.
En rachâchant is a comic tale based on Marguerite Duras’ story Ah! Ernesto, about a young boy who refuses to got to school because they only teach him things he doesn’t know. 1982, France, in French with English subtitles, 35mm, 9 minutes.
Saturday, March 10
Music of Regret, 7:30 pm
Directed by Laurie Simmons
Introduced by Alison Maclean and David Rakoff
Artists Laurie Simmons and Alison Maclean are paired for a program of two short films that play with our notions of conscience and excruciating situations. Laurie Simmons, best known for her photographs of miniature rooms populated by dolls and oversized objects, adds puppets, ventriloquists’ dummies, and performances by Meryl Streep and members of the Alvin Ailey Dance company to create this three-act mini-musical. With cinematography by Ed Lachman and music composed by Michael Rohaytn, writer/director Simmons makes her first venture into filmmaking. 2006, U.S., video, 40 minutes.
Alison Maclean (whose film Jesus’ Son was screened in Women with Vision 2000) directs this humorous short film about actors lining up for a casting call in New York and the duplicitous director (played by writer David Rakoff) who awaits them. Filming their auditions with hidden cameras, he asks each actor to imagine an intolerable situation and act out an escape. 2006, U.S., video, 32 minutes.
Boxers, 9:30 pm
Special screening location: Uppercut Boxing Gym, 1324 Quincy Street NE, Minneapolis
$12 ($10 Walker members)
World premiere, introduced by director Joanna Kohler
Lisa Bauch’s Uppercut Boxing Gym in northeast Minneapolis is the home of a female amateur boxing team. Local filmmaker Joanna Kohler and her camera followed their footwork as they trained to compete in the 2005 Ringside International Tournament in Kansas City. Training six days a week, the seven boxers—Gina Campbell, Becca Gilgen, Amy Laboe, Sarah Mickelson, Rachel Schley, and Dagney Willey—are filmed as they refined their technique, increased their speed, mastered their fears, and supported one another as a team. “[The] Boxers film project is a chance for me to explore images of women both physically strong and self-reflective. It [is] about finding relationships through the struggle for equal access that I felt was a story that should be told by a woman filmmaker” (Joanna Kohler). 2006, U.S., video, 90 minutes.
Repeat screening on Sunday, March 11, 8 pm, at Uppercut Boxing Gym
Sunday, March 11
In Between Days, 2 pm
Directed by So Yong Kim
Examining the personal side of immigration and the struggle of maintaining an identity in a foreign land, In Between Days follows Aimie, a teen recently emigrated from Korea to the United States who has fallen in love with her best and only friend, Tran. She tries to express her feelings but is scared of damaging their friendship, and this delicate relationship is challenged by the demands of living in a new country. Then Aimie—played with a quiet intensity by Jiseon Kim in an impressive debut performance—begins to lose Tran to an Americanized Korean girl. “In Between Days reveals a visual director at work. With precise cinematography, So Yong Kim makes every moment count, using each shot to relate a piece of the story” (Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival). 2006, U.S., video, 82 minutes.
Wednesday, March 14
Animation from Zagreb, 7:30 pm
Introduced by director Nicole Hewitt
London-born Nicole Hewitt spent a large part of her youth in Zagreb, Croatia. After receiving her master’s degree in London, she worked in puppet animation at the Jiri Trnka Studio in Prague. Returning to Zagreb, she proved that animation is not a lonely studio profession by heading out into the streets to make the animated documentary In Between, about the annual collection of bulky household objects and their transitory state in between recycled treasures or trash. Animation from Zagreb is a program of five of her recent works made since 1999—In/Dividu, In Between, The Bridge (Most), The Waltz, a mock ball, and Pigs, etc.—in various techniques and styles. Language in the films is mostly Croatian with English subtitles. Hewitt will discuss her work and answer questions during the presentation. Total running time is 59 minutes.
Support for Animation from Zagreb provided by the John P. and Eleanor R. Yackel Foundation.
Thursday, March 15
A Few Days Later… (Chand Rooz Ba’d), 7:30 pm
Directed by Niki Karimi
Iranian actress-turned-director Niki Karimi presents a subdued, minimalist portrait of Shahrzad, a graphic designer (Karimi). When her fiancé’s ex-wife returns to Iran, Shahrzad must decide whether to continue her relationship with him. The details of her everyday life—her job, an ongoing war with a neighbor, meetings, classes, but mostly driving—make it clear that she is always living in a state of chaos and upheaval, which allows her to procrastinate and put off her important decision. “With an unwavering and restrained gaze, Karimi creates a deft observation of an unsettled life that is the furthest thing imaginable from melodrama” (Dimitri Eipides, Toronto Film Festival). 2006, Iran, 35mm, In Farsi with English subtitles, 78 minutes.
Friday, March 16
Goodbye, Life (Shab Bekheir Farmandeh), 7:30 pm
Directed by Ensieh Shah-Hosseini
An impressive examination of the realities of war as seen through one woman’s eyes, Shah-Hosseini’s debut is loosely based on her own past as the only Iranian woman journalist sent to report on the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. In this film, Maryam opts to go to the battlefield not to further her career but as a reaction to her failed marriage and her wish to die. This antiwar film follows her through the battle-torn regions and shows the grueling effects of war on soldiers as well as the civilians who befriend Maryam. 2006, 35mm, in Farsi with English subtitles, 93 minutes.
Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness, 9:30 pm
World premiere, introduced by director Melody Gilbert
The authorities see them as a threat, and others just see them as mischievous thrill-seekers. In reality, urban explorers are simply a loosely knit group of ordinary people wishing to document and understand our deteriorating and forgotten urban history. Local documentary filmmaker Melody Gilbert (A Life without Pain, Whole) first heard about this subculture through a story about six urban explorers in St. Paul—outfitted with two-way radios, flashlights, night vision equipment, and maps—who were arrested as suspected terrorists. Traveling from Minneapolis to Miami to Scotland to France, Gilbert reveals an extraordinary underground world of individuals bonded by their innate sense of curiosity and adventure. “Urban Explorers is not a typical social justice documentary that sets out to change the world. In the end, I hope this film helps people see the world in which they live a little differently than they did before” (Melody Gilbert). 2006, U.S., video, 85 minutes.
Repeat screening on Saturday, March 17, 4 pm, in the Walker Cinema
Saturday, March 17
Shorts Program, 1 pm
Rhythm of Tides
Directed by Jila Nikpay. 2006, video, 13 minutes
Alex & José
Directed by Cynthia Madansky. 2006, 16mm, 3 minutes.
L’Éclat du Mal
Directed by Louise Bourque. 2005, 16mm, 8 minutes.
Directed by Mina Blyly-Strauss. 2004, 16mm, 3 minutes.
Directed by Lora Stoyanova. 2006, video, 8 minutes.
Portraits & Testimonies #2: Cris Siqueira
Directed by Kyja Kristjansson. 2005, video, 1 minute.
Dreams & Desires: Family Ties
Directed by Joanna Quinn. 2006, 35mm, 10 minutes.
High Plains Winter
Directed by Cindy Stillwell. 2006, video, 10 minutes.
Directed by Salise Hughes. 2005, video, 3 minutes.
How to Draw Clouds
Directed by Salise Hughes. 2006, video, 2 minutes.
You Made Me Love You
Directed by Miranda Pennell. 2005, video, 4 minutes.
The Last Concert of Marlene Dietrich
Directed by Suzanne Kosmalski. 2006, video, 5 minutes.
The Mallorys Go Black Market
Introduced by directors JoEllen Martinson and William Scott Rees. 2006, video, 13 minutes.
Antonia, 8 pm
Directed by Tata Amaral
Four rappers take the stage in São Paulo, but even their obvious talent and love of performing isn’t enough to overcome the realities of racism and sexism in Brazil—being black, poor, and female is keeping them from success. Original music by the wonderfully talented cast enhances this vibrant story of friendship, struggle, and achievement. This is Tata Amaral’s third feature; her Through the Window was shown in Women with Vision 2001. 2006, Brazil, 35mm, Portuguese with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
Women with Vision 2007: Mirror Image sponsored by Allianz.
Additional support provided by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
Girls in the Director’s Chair 2007
Saturday, March 3 FREE
10 am, 12 noon, and 2:30 pm: For all ages
4:30 pm: For ages 13 and older due to mature subject matter
Part of the annual Women with Vision film festival, this showcase of works created by Minnesota girls ages 18 and under ranges from animation and documentaries to social commentary. After the screenings, head to the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab, where filmmaker Michelle-Mehri Mousavi teaches families how to make their own picture show. Smile for the camera as your portrait is projected via a live-feed video display.
Fade In, 10 am
For all ages
A gradual increase in an image’s visibility at the beginning of a film sequence. This program showcases work by the festival’s youngest filmmakers. 56 minutes.
Dreams by Tate Pashibin
Diversity by Shevell Powell, Pa Chia Thao, Mai Xee Vang, Pa Nhia Vang, Kia Vue, and Steven Washington
LaDeDa by Molly Nemer
The Chase by Rachel Quednau
The Distinct Taste of Evil by Genevieve Gleich and Lily Rogers-Grant
Siblings (or Why I Wish I Were an Only Child) by Casey Haarstad and Molly Nemer
Remember When by Felicia Mason
Expression Through . . . by Danielle Roberts
Neighborhood House by Hannah Nemer and Molly Nemer
Wings Made of Dreams by Alexandra Lovaas
Lily of the Forest by Nora Epp, Lène Epp, and Helena Scholz-Carlson
A Puzzle Itself by Elizabeth McNaughton and Tekla Monson
Jump Cut, 12 noon
For all ages
A sudden cut from one shot or scene to another. These films roam everywhere, from documentaries about the experience of America’s minorities to technically advanced stop-motion animations. 54 minutes.
The Circle to the Center by Sally King
Portrait of a Pro by Madeline McCarty
Live Long and Open the Doors to My Fishtank; Seeing the Truth through Partially Closed Eyes by Tricia Towey
Video Poem by Chloe Robins
And Sometimes . . . by Kari Jo Skogquist
Untitled but Awake by Tanya Schmid
Mixing Bowl by Maddy Shaw
Stories from the Vietnam War by Kao Choua Vue
Prowl by Grace Dupre
Akeelma by Audrey Thompson-Amartifio, Chalisa Anderson, Topaz Davis, Vanessa Gill, Shavon Ingram, Brianna Lark, Kiera Parham, Roderick Pierce, Harmonee Peterson, Halston Sleets, and Andreesa Wright
Life on the Reservation by Keith Carmona, Anthony Hare, Rodger Johnson, Rodney Johnson Jr., Regina Walker, Danielle White, Jessica White, William Stately Robinson, and Joe Joe White
Thanks by Ashley Fleck
Cross Dissolve, 2:30 pm
For all ages
A transitional technique between two sequences, in which the visible image of one shot is gradually blended with the image from another shot. Through experimentation and narrative techniques, the films in this section easily flow from one genre to the next. 84 minutes.
Mookibii (Water) by Nicole Auginash and Cylicia Roybal
Magnifying Memory by Kari Jo Skogquist
Arlington High School: A Tribute to the Art Focus Area by Mai Cha Vang
Hip Hop and Spoken Word by Shaunice Crew and Shayla Martin
A Passing Grade by Mira Lippold-Johnson
You Are Cordially Invited by Becky Yates
Immanently by Rebecca Schreiber
Leaving the Homeland by Maisee Chang and Kong Xiong
Interior Dialogue by Gretta Mosser
Irony by Fiona Rentoul
Que Ironiko by Laura Mobley
Petro by Alexandra King
Locked Up by Tricia Towey
Duel by Kathryn Morris
Fade Out, 4:30 pm
For ages 13 and older due to mature subject matter
A gradual decrease in an image’s visibility at the end of a film sequence. The festival’s final screening addresses many of today’s social issues, including young women’s views on prostitution, gang violence, and drugs. Appropriate for ages 13 and older due to mature content. 54 minutes.
Lake and 42nd by Claire Passer and Maddy Schaaf
Generation Internet by Luke Anderson, Kayla Denison, and Stacy Howell
Shatona’s Choice by Lynn Dixon, Bianca Emmons, Tiara Franklin, Ahmed Jeylani, and Mai Shoua Vue
The Women on the Streets by Lynn Dixon, Bianca Emmons, Tiara Franklin, Ahmed Jeylani, and Mai Shoua Vue
Rains of Memory by Mee Thao
Gangs & Violence by Reanna Buckanaga
In Loving Memory by Harriett Weyaus
Life in Mono by Jaclyn Evert
High School by Monica Gould
Girls in the Director’s Chair sponsored by Allianz.
Walker Teen Programs sponsored by Wells Fargo and Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Additional support provided by the Surdna Foundation.
Screening from the Collection
A Girl Like Me
Directed by Kiri Davis
Lecture Room, March 1–31
Screened continuously during gallery hours
Restaging Dr. Kenneth Clark’s “doll test,” which was instrumental in the Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case with African American youth from Harlem, high school student Kiri Davis discovers that little has changed since the 1950s. The children and other teens interviewed from her high school still were affected by standards of beauty imposed by popular culture and internalized racism. Heart-wrenching and topical, Davis’ project for an after-school program garnered national attention, winning the audience award at the Silverdocs festival and the Diversity Award from Media that Matters Festival. 2005, video, 7 minutes. Screened in conjunction with the Women with Vision Festival.
Copresented by SoulTouch Productions and Southside Community Health Services.
To view A Girl Like Me in its entirety, go to www.mediathatmattersfest.org/6 and click “02” on the right side of the screen.