When Vandana Shiva argues that “the marginalization of women and the destruction of biodiversity go hand in hand” she is describing the commonality of gendered and environmental oppression, as well the specific location of women as vulnerable to capitalism, but also particularly placed to conserve biodiversity. Women are often the people who are most directly involved with subsistence work and are the safeguards of natural resources needed to sustain the family and community.
These words, written in the programme note of the 15th PLJFF, precisely encapsulate the ideas behind the programme that concludes this year’s festival: Co-shaping the plural and the collective: to know differently, to imagine otherwise. Films within this programme explore the feminist values – values that are a key to imagining a collective, yet diverse future.
The best illustration of this is the work of the Yugantar Film Collective. This feminist collective was founded in 1980 in Bangalore, India by Deepa Dhanraj, Abha Bhaiya, Navroze Contractor, and Meera Rao, at a time when India is gripped by a wave of radical political transformations. They have directed four films and participated in the formation of women’s groups throughout the country. A retrospective of the films of this collective, digitally restored by Arsenal, the Institute for Film and Video Art from Berlin, was shown at the Berlinale in 2019. We are happy and proud to invite you to join us for the regional premiere of films by Yugantar film collective: Is This Just a Story? and Tobacco Embers!
We will embark on another journey to the past with the film Calamity Jane & Delphine Seyrig: A Story, directed by Babette Mangolta. French actress and director Delphine Seyrig wanted to make a film dedicated to American ranger Calamity Jane, and her screenplays, storyboard, and 16mm footage came to Mangolta. These remnants of a film that was never made confirmed a French artist’s obsession with Calamity Jane’s unsent letters to her daughter. This unique film tells a story about the letters that never reached the addressee but became an emblem of feminism in the late seventies, but it also gives us an insight into the relationship of two women that transcends time, reminding us of the importance of sharing women’s stories and recognition of women’s creativity.
The continuity of the human species and other living organisms depends very much on the recognition of the knowledge of women, because if we want to have a future, it has to be a womanly future, reminds the programme note of the 15th PLJFF.
Films by young directors from this program also have a distinctly female perspective. The Metamorphosis of Birds by Catarina Vasconcelos combines fiction and documentary in an examination of her own family history, loss, grief, and despair that overwhelm us after the departure of loved ones, offering a poetic insight into the universal cycle of life and death. Tatiana Mazú González’s Shady River, on the other hand, breaks the silence of women living in men’s villages where everyone believes in the legend that if a woman enters a mine, the land itself becomes jealous, and the only result is death and disaster.
The End of Suffering (A Proposal) by Jacqueline Lentzou reflects on solving all earthly problems: her heroine in this lyrical film shows that what we once called Weltschmerz today reveals itself as deep existential anxiety. That is why her conversations with “alien” voices about the “true” nature of human beings are not entirely utopian, nor unequivocally ironic, but remain somewhere in between, always deeply intimate.
We also invite you to join the conversation between Arman Fatić and the director of the film Oroslan, Matjaž Ivanišin, that will take place on Instagram on December 19th. The films of the program Co-shaping the plural and the collective: to know differently, to imagine otherwise will be available from December 14 to 19 on our web platform pravoljudski.org. Join us on the Web!
For all the information about the availability of films, and about other festival activities, follow our website pravoljudski.org, social networks and the hashtags #plj15 and #pravoljudski15.