The Female Gaze

Lee Grant – What Sex Am I? (1985)

Radically ahead of its time in its candor and compassion, this groundbreaking documentary follows a group of transgender individuals struggling to make their way in every strata of 1980s America. From finding employment to finding acceptance, WHAT SEX AM I? gives empathetic voice to the everyday challenges faced by trans people decades before issues of gender identity were widely discussed in the mainstream. Read More »

Ieva Balode – Commission (2020)

The story of a film “Commission” starts in Georgia at some unknown point of time where a heroic, mythical female character has written a book which is being delivered by a courier (the artist herself) to three powerful women. The content of a book is hidden within an existing book – “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” written by Medieval Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli who dedicated the book to 12th century Queen Tamar who at the time brought prosperity and many social changes in the country. Being used as a secret shell or a reference to female power from the past, the freshly embedded content of a book serves as manifesto to the women who haven’t been equally appreciated due to history books still being written from male perspective. The book offers alternative gaze to a world history which can exist only in utopian science-fiction film commissioned and executed by females only. Read More »

Kaz Cai & Wang Jing & Anocha Suwichakornpong – Breakfast Lunch Dinner (2010)

Quote:
Helmed by three female directors, this omnibus features three films set in China, Thailand and Singapore. Each story occurs at a specific meal-time, and seeks to interpret the frailties and complexities of love through different East Asian perspectives. All three stories are tethered with the question, “Will you marry me?” Mirroring the repasts themselves, Breakfast and Dinner are heavier in tone, while Lunch is light with a sprinkle of humor. Read More »

Mingmonkul Sonakul – I -San Special AKA Kuen pra chan tem doueng (2002)

Synopsis
The soundtrack to a radio soap opera set in a luxury hotel is acted out by characters who are riding a ramshackle bus from Bangkok to a small town in Thailand’s Northeast. When the bus stops, the drama in the characters’ real lives can be seen. In different cirumstances, it’s not hard to imagine the characters – a young small-town girl (glamorous model), an older woman (hi-so boutique owner), an illegal Burmese immigrant (hotel waitress), half-Thai backpacker (handsome hotel owner), soldier (ladyboy hostess) and dodgy businessman (dodgy businessman) – assuming the lives of their larger-than-life soap opera alter egos Read More »

Ngozi Onwurah – Welcome II the Terrordome (1995)

The first feature ever directed by a black British woman is this ferocious, ambitious, dystopian nightmare influenced by African mythology, the films of Spike Lee, and the music of Public Enemy. A near-future inner-city ghetto implodes under the pressure of racial tensions, poverty, and police brutality, in “a world which doesn’t breathe so much as pant” (Time Out London). Read More »

Suzana Amaral – Uma Vida em Segredo (2001)

Young girl, born and raised in an isolated farm, is brought to a small town to live with her cousins, her only relatives. Once in town, she encounters great difficulty adapting to city life. Read More »

Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa – Jerry & Me (2013)

Quote:
Iranian-American filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeedvafa traces her journey from growing up as young girl in Tehran to adjusting to life in America, while she reflects on how the films of Jerry Lewis spoke to her as an outsider in both countries. Peppered with clips from Lewis’ films, as well as other Hollywood classics, that have been dubbed into Farsi, this short documentary is “an invaluable cross-cultural lesson,” said esteemed film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, who called Jerry and Me one of the best films of 2012. Read More »