Thanks to everyone who come to our screening of Sweet Sugar Rage last night.
For those of you who missed it, you will be glad we recorded Dr Gail Lewis’ response to the film, which is featured below for your listening pleasure.
In the audio Gail reflects on the impact of Sistren’s visit to the Brixton Black Women’s Group in the 1980s, exploring how the feminist work translated across borders within the context of a Black feminist movement rooted in anti-imperialist and internationalist politics.
Gail also uses the conversation to reflect on how the cultural memory of the Black Women’s movement in the UK has been transmitted, and how this has shaped the politics of knowledge production within contemporary feminism more widely.
Founded in 1977, Sistren are a women’s popular theatre company based in Kingston, Jamaica, who use drama-in-education as a means of problem solving at a community level; questioning in particular society’s failure to value the work and skills of women. Sweet Sugar Rage highlights the harsh conditions facing female workers on a Jamaican sugar estate in the 80s. We travel from Kingston to the sugar cane fields of Clarendon and back again, guided by an infectious reggae rhythm.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Dr Gail Lewis, long standing member of Brixton Black Women’s Group and a co-founder of the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD), who will reflect on her memories of Sistren’s visits to the UK.
Set in contemporary Iran, Facing Mirrors is a story of an unlikely and daring friendship that develops despite social norms and religious beliefs. Although Rana is a traditional wife and mother, she is forced to drive a cab to pay off the debt that keeps her husband in prison. By chance she picks up the wealthy and rebellious Edi, who is desperately awaiting a passport to leave the country. At first Rana attempts to help, but when she realizes that Edi is transgender, a dangerous series of conflicts arise.
Followed by a response from Elhum Shakerifar, programmer at Bird’s Eye View and documentary producer (The Reluctant Revolutionary).
On Sunday 23 March at 1pm we are showing Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam, a profoundly personal documentary explores the role of Vietnamese women historically and in contemporary society,
Using dance, printed texts, folk poetry and the words and experiences of Vietnamese women in Vietnam—from both North and South—and the United States, Trinh’s film challenges official culture with the voices of women.
Bristol based academic and self-proclaimed film nerd Carol O’Sullivan will be on hand afterwards to help guide the debate.
We are reading criticism relating to the film at this Wednesday’s reading group at Hydra books, 7-9pm, if you want to engage with the film’s theoretical ideas. Download the articles here and here – all welcome!
An exuberant and inspiring ambassador for the Caribbean, Calypso Rose is the uncontested and much decorated diva of Calypso music. With more than 800 recorded songs, she continues to be a pioneer and champion of women’s rights, as she travels the world making music. French-Cameroonian filmmaker Pascale Obolo spends four years with Calypso Rose on a very personal journey. Travelling to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and to her ancestral home in Africa, we learn more about Calypso Rose in each place, and the many faces and facets of her life. The daughter of an illiterate Trinidadian fisherman, she was one of ten children, and was sent to live with relatives in Tobago at the age of 9. At 15 she wrote her first song and launched a career that took her to the top of the male-dominated calypso world. This creative film is not only about memory and the exchange and discovery of world cultures, but also about the journey of a remarkable woman, an Afro-Caribbean soul and an exemplary artist.
The story of the women of Ein El Hilweh refugee camp between 1982 and 1984 is an important chapter in the history of Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon. After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the camp was destroyed and its men imprisoned. Kingdom of Women documents the organising spirit of women during this period – detailing how they were able to rebuild the camp and provide for their families while their men were held captive. Using animation and scenes from daily life as it moves between past and present, the film focuses on seven women, honoring the contributions they’ve made to the survival of the Palestinian community in exile.
You can buy tickets for the whole season from Watershed’s website. Don’t forget there is a special offer where you can buy four tickets and get the fifth one free.