A few feminista film recommendations:
The Whistleblower, Sat 12th November, 8:30 PM, Cork Opera House
Inspired by actual events, Kathryn Bolkovac is an American police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. Rachel Weisz heads a strong ensemble cast that also includes Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn. Directed by Larysa Kondracki and co-written by Irish writer Eilís Kirwan, The Whistleblower is a heady mélange of political thriller, conspiracy picture and melodrama, leading all the way back to the U.S. State Department. Kondracki expertly navigates the personal and the political in this taut and powerful portrayal of inconceivable injustice and bureaucratic paralysis. Kathryn Bolkovac will introduce the film and a book signing event will follow.
The Snow Queen, Wed 9th November, 4 PM, Cork Opera House
A woman lives in a castle of ice. A local witch doctor said that this is the only thing that will stop the cancer in her body. That, and some innocent blood. With its impressively designed ‘ice palace’, The Snow Queen is the kind of weird dream-like fairytale where you wonder if it’s occurring in the head of the cancer-ridden businesswoman, or the love-struck boy who fancies her.
Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, Sat 12th November, 2:30 PM, Cork Opera House
This remarkable documentary, made over a nine year period, charts the story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey’s political journey since her explosive entry into the public arena in the late sixties. Combining archive footage with a series of intimate interviews conducted with Devlin McAliskey, director Lelia Doolan perfectly encapsulates the idiosyncrasies and rebelliousness which has fuelled her subject’s pivotal role at the heart of civil rights, feminism and socialism in Northern Ireland. Bernadette is a fascinating and powerful account of this firebrand figure, an impressively rounded depiction of a woman blessed with incredible eloquence, clarity and firm socialist principles. The Director will introduce the screening.
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, Sat 12th November, 4PM, Triskel
Genesis P-Orridge has been one of the most innovative and influential figures in music and fine art for the last 30 years. A link between the pre and post-punk eras, he is the founder of the legendary groups COUMTransmissions (1969-1976), Throbbing Gristle (1975-1981), and Psychic TV (1981 to present), all of which merged performance art with rock music.
In 2000, defying artistic and biological boundaries, P-Orridge began a series of surgeries in order to more closely resemble his love, Lady Jaye. It was an attempt to deconstruct two individual identities through the creation of an invisible third and the ultimate act of devotion; Genesis’s most risky, ambitious, and subversive performance to date.
At Night, They Dance, Thurs 10th November, 8:30 PM, Triskel
Seldom has Egypt’s capital been so evocatively captured. At Night, They Dance is a fly-on-the-wall documentary exploring the mysterious and hard-knocks reality of a typical Egyptian belly dancer clan in working-class Cairo. Unparalleled access to this hidden world leaves the viewer fascinated as the documentary focuses on Reda, a charismatic widow and ex-dancer, with seven children and one on the way, her wise confidante, and three of her daughters, who now dance at raucous all-male celebrations for a living.
Married in Spandex, Sat 12th November, 6:30 PM, Triskel
When Amanda and Rachel decide to get married, their trip down the aisle takes them 1200 miles, from Philadelphia to the town of Ames, Iowa. With lady rapper Leslie Hall serving as officiant, and a bridal party outfitted in gold spandex and rainbow-coloured gems they’ve created the wedding of their dreams in a style few will ever forget.
But, at a time when every same-sex wedding is seen as a political act and brides-to-be are asked to walk the entireLGBT community down the aisle, will everyone be cheering Amanda and Rachel’s offbeat “I do”? Can the couple’s road trip revelry convince friends and family to get on board for the big day? The director will introduce the screening.
Outliving Dracula: Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Fri 11th November, 2PM, Triskel
Irish writer J.S. Le Fanu’s creation, the female vampire Carmilla, has established a fascinating lineage through filmic adaptations, arguably inspiring a more radical and transgressive creative wellspring than her literary successor Dracula. Outliving Dracula explores the radical influence of Carmilla on generations of filmmakers – from Carl Dreyer’s extraordinary Vampyr to Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses, from the Gothic kitsch of Hammer through to films produced within a visual art context. Featuring interviews with leading film scholars and artists influenced by Le Fanu, this film seeks to redefine his critical importance as an Irish writer whose ghostly traces remain profound and enigmatic. The director will introduce the screening.
Jesse Jones: the Struggle Against Ourselves, Thurs-Sat, 5PM onwards, National Sculpture Factory
Commissioned by REDCAT and produced at CalArts during a residency this spring in Los Angeles, Jesse Jones’ new film takes Vsevolod Meyerhold’s biomechanics études as its point of departure to position itself between the principles of Russian constructivism and its eventual appropriation by mass culture.
The Struggle Against Ourselves restages Meyerhold’s biomechanical workshops (influential to the pioneering Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein) as they appear in a series of photographs from the 1920s by the Russian photographer Alexander Grinberg.
The reconstructed études depict the spectacle of movement embedded within radical political ideology while remaining filled with the pathos of the historical past. The Struggle Against Ourselves displays a convergence of Russian revolutionary art and American popular culture by emphasizing the collective human form and synchronicity of movement – brilliantly usurped and reinterpreted in the films of Busby Berkeley.
Jamie and Jessie are not together, Sun 13th November, 4 PM, Triskel
Jamie is moving from Chicago to New York to become a Broadway actress. Her best friend Jessie is bummed because she is not-so-secretly in love with Jamie. As moving day gets closer, Jessie tries to make Jamie jealous by dating other girls. But Jessie’s plan backfires, in a way she could never imagine.
Kabei Our Mother, Tues 8th November, 9PM, Gate
Set in Tokyo in 1940, the peaceful life of the Nogami Family is upset when the father, Shigeru, is arrested and accused of being a Communist.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, just a few films that caught our eye. Be sure to check out the Festival programme online at: www.corkfilmfest.org. If you want to add a recommendation to the list, feel free to comment!