Women in Resistance

The “Women in Resistance” program demonstrates how much poetry films and video poetry are part of global poetic activism. Hardly any other topic has had such a definite impact on this year’s entries for the Weimar Poetry Film Award as this one.

A poetic act in a reality structured by hegemonic masculinity is a radical act of resistance. Women in Resistance consists of 15 poetry films written and directed by women who, in their aesthetic and thematic diversity, immerse us in sensibilities and gazes that explore the relationships of being a woman in and with the world.

Black Girl Poem

Director & Author: Daryl Paris Bright

United States, 2019 2:27

In ‘Black Girl Poem,’ black women take a surrealist approach in confronting the power dynamic of sexual harassment and catcalling within the African American community. The three women are towering above the city act as a chorus, symbolizing a heightened representation of resistance and triumph over sexual objectification. While the dancer journeys through a city much larger than her, struggling to find her ground with the men that she loves yet feels oppressed by at the same time. Through poetry, dance, and animation, these black girls explore self-empowerment, community accountability, and choosing love above all.

Tribute

Director & Author: Katharina S. Ditzler

Germay, Ukraine, 2:00

A performative poetry film about pecunia, passports, and privilege. Money origami stop motion animation, money is burnt and laundered, money in a museum. Psychedelic plant ornaments from an abandoned Ukrainian castle garden from the Belle Époque, juxtaposed with tanks and the devouring of money from privileged and not-so-privileged countries in front of the Brandenburg Gate.  And passport kissing. An homage to exile, migration and the ghosts of both past and future.

Thunder

Director & Author: Rama Alsaman

Syria, Germany, 1:44 min

Coming from Syria, a country that has been a war zone since 2011. In this piece, Rama addresses a memory, as well as her own struggle to accept that the war is still active until today. The thunder’s acoustic atmosphere resembles the sounds of battle. And after every rain storm comes a rainbow, but what about the rainy wars? When will we see the end of this inhuman, unnatural anxiety in the face of an uncertain future? So many different sectors have taken part in this war, and many more have tried to help, so how come the war isn’t over yet? In a poetic representation, she addresses it with the sound of a thunderstorm recorded in Weimar, Germany 2020, along with an overlapping record of her voice of her poem “Thunder” and the photograph of an old damaged ceiling in the historic center of Damascus, Syria.

Ophelia

Director & Author: Meike Redeker

Germany, 7:00

A monologue in words spoken backwards deals with discriminatory representations of women in the past and present. The video artist herself enters the scenery of a river bank. Determined and fully clothed, she goes into the flowing water. The setting resembles John Everett Millais’ famous painting “Ophelia” (1851-52), which depicts the aestheticized death of Shakespeare’s female character Ophelia. However, the artist continuously speaks to the camera. Only when the video is rewound, abstract sounds are uncoded and words become understandable. The video moves back and forth in time on several levels, revealing the complex entanglement of image and language with the construction of role models.

A Huge Women

Director: Paulina Urreta

Author: Jan Rosagel

Mexico, 4:40

A visual poem that seeks to break with the stigmas about the beauty and bodies of women.

 

Live a little

Director: Jenny Jokela

Author: Celia Hillo

Finland, United Kigdom, 3:43

A visual poem about struggling to fit into a patriarchal society’s views on how a young woman should behave.

The joy is inexhaustible

Director: Teona Galgoțiu

Author: Cosmina Moroșan

Romania, 7:08

A green bathroom serves as a playground for a girl who arrives home after a party. She speaks in poems, exploring this intimate space through mirrors and reveries.

Women Not to Be

Director & Author: Sarah James

United Kingdom, 2:30

Fairy-tale heroines, childhood dolls, celebrities… where do young girls look for their role models? This poetryfilm explores what happens when a woman discovers the faults in these and tries to face up to the conflicting ideals about women that society promotes.

Pregnant with the death

Director: Tova Beck-Friedman

Author: Susan Rich

United States, 3:37

“Pregnant with the Dead” is a collaboration between the filmmaker, Tova Beck-Friedman and poet Susan Rich. It is a cine-poem about the space between suffering and life lived, about survival, and the unforgotten pain.

My Chest is the Ocean Full of Stars

Director & Author: Elena Sáenz

Spain, 03:03

“My chest is the Ocean full of stars, my heart the force that propels the movement of the Sea, of the Universe.” Voices of women blend with the waves of the sea as the natural creators, as hosts of the entire Universe, voices as waves, creating the Universe in each and every movement.

Explicit Female

Director & Author: Zornitza Stoyanova

United States, 7:15

“Explicit Female” is a visual poem that takes on pregnancy and the act of birth as its theme. Making another human in one’s body is often thought of as magical, beautiful, and peaceful. This film illuminates all that, plus the hidden trauma of the experience. Using mirror psychedelic effects, the body gets transformed into sensual ever-changing vaginas, organic-looking aliens, shapes and colors that later remind of DNA division. Deeply sensual, the sci-fi imagery lures the imagination while furthering the feel of otherness and alienation. An automatically generated voice speaks of the female body’s durability and the complete destruction of identity that happens to a new mother. “Explicit Female” is part of a bigger performance of the same name that evening.

Terroir

Director & Author: Dawn Westlake

United States, 6:58

The French word ‘terroir’ is used across many languages and cultures to describe the soil and climate factors that give wine its character. Metaphorically, we can look at our human upbringing and the resulting character of various world cultures as ‘terroir.’ Factually, we all originate from women, but it is the rare culture that respects or honors this truth. Why do we pervert the vessel of life to its own self-denial?

Love Marks

Director: Ebele Okoye

Germany 2017, 3 min

A little girl, socializedinto a culture of domestic violence acceptance and perpetuity, dreams big about her marriage.

Noche

Director & Author: Claire Kinnen

United States, 1:00

Noche is a short poem film written and created by Claire Kinnen and recited by the Spanish artist Maria Flores Galindo. It was shot on Super 8 film in New York’s North Country in Spanish with English subtitles.

RESPEK

Director & Author: Kamari Bright

United States, 3:00

“RESPEK” is an animated videopoem dissecting the insidious nature of respectability politics from an African American woman’s perspective.