The Heretics
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The Heretics

USA, 2009, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Arts & Literature, Biography / History, Bisexual, Discrimination, Documentary, Gender, Lesbian, Politics
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Joan Braderman

Welcome to the New York City art world of the 1970s, where women are underrepresented in the MOMA, in publishing, in theaters, as well as in pretty much every other artistic institution. What’s a group of feminist woman artists — painters, filmmakers, designers, writers, architects — to do? Form an art collective, hold endless meetings and publish a progressive magazine called HERESIES: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics. That’s what.

Filmmaker Joan Braderman, a member of the collective, tracks down twenty-four other members who are now accomplished artists living around the globe. The women talk about the magazine that published Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker and Barbara Ehrenreich.

They reminisce about what it was like to be a woman in a man’s world: from an instructor who praised Ida Applebroog, “That is good, you paint just like a man,” to Mark Rothko, who said to Lucy Lippard, “You’re too cute to be an art critic.” They also recall differences and disagreements; since editors changed for each issue, some women protested when it was determined that only self-identified lesbians would edit the magagzine’s Lesbian Art and Artists Issue.

A collage of intimate interviews, archival footage and photographs, digital animation, contemporary art works, and music by women, this is far from an historical piece. Rather, The Heretics emphasizes that collective feminism is as relevant today as ever. It’s a call to action to transmit this “gift, this collective energy of woman’s togetherness” to the younger generation. — NANI RATNAWATI

Text Voting Code: D335



Copresented by

Bay Area Women in Film and Media (BAWIFM) and San Francisco Women’s Film Festival and SF Camerawork



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