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FIVE FEMINIST MINUTES

Canada, 1990 (MIFF 1991)

Director: Various

In celebration of the its 15th anniversary last year, the National Film Board's Women's Unit; Studio D, chose 16 women from dozens of applications to make a film reflecting "what was on their minds and in their hearts." Equipped with five rolls of film stock and $10,000 to turn it into a movie , these women from all across the country and a wide range of cultural backgrounds have come back with an audacious collection of short films -documentary, dramatic, and experimental, live action and animated, historical and contemporary. These 16 films map the terrain for the next wave of Canadian feminism. What's most encouraging is that all of the films display an awareness of the need for a feminism that not only responds tD social injustices, but one that infuses everyday life. The films range from angry to ironic to humourous, but in terms of tone and sensibility, no two are alike, From New Shoes, Anne-Marie Fleming's blackly funny look at princesses and murder/suicide, and A Letter From Violet by Elaine Pain, which focuses on a Saskatchewan suffragette, to Sook Yin Lee's witty account of cross cultural confusion, The Escapades Of One Particular Mr. Noodle, and Shawna Dempsey and Tracey Treager's cheerful We're Talking Vulva, this irreverent and youthful (many of the filmmakers are in their 20's) program is guaranteed to entertain and enlighten, while it torpedoes most preconceptions about feminism. The other films included are; Family Secrets by Lorna Boschman and Kim Blain, about memories of sexual abuse; Too Tough, by Marie Annharte Baker, about urban native women living on the streets; No Choice, by Christene Browne, about abortion and poverty; Exposure, by Michelle Mohabeer, about women marginalised by racism and homophobia; Prowling By Night, by Gwendolyn, about prostitution; Shaggie, by Janice Cole; Rhea by Angele Gagnon and Jennifer Kawaja; Let's Rap, by Alison Burnes; The Untitled Story, by Frances Leeming and Cathy Quinn; Petit Drame Dans la Vie d'une Femme, by Andree Pelletier, about a girl who refuses to become a woman; Shirley Bear, by Catherine Martin; and Come Into My Parlour, by Mary Lewis, about the myths of spinsterhood.

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