For Immediate Release
Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa County, Inc.
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
CINEMA NOUVEAU PRESENTS WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?
January 2 -
Who Does She Think She Is? (2008)
Directed and Produced by Pamela Tanner Boll
Nancy Kennedy, Co-Director
Written by Will Dunning
Documentary / 1 hr 13 min / color
Who Does She Think She Is? was directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, co-executive producer of the Academy Award-winning Best Documentary Feature Born Into Brothels. The film examines the mothering-versus-working choice faced by American women, and women artists in particular.
Who Does She Think She Is? focuses on five particularly bold women artists, each radically different in background, race, religious creed and choice of artistic field. But they all share the common challenge of making careers in various art worlds. Simultaneous to their creative existence, they are pulled in different directions as they try to answer the competing demands of artistic fulfillment, marriage, motherhood and economic survival.
She Think She Is? shows
that it is not acclaim or approval these mother-artists seek. Rather, their
quest is the radical opportunity to live whole.
In one sense, I began working on Who Does She Think She Is? as a young woman. As soon as I learned to print I began to make up stories, trying life out on paper instead of the real world. I drew every day. In college, my senior thesis was a volume of poetry. I continued studying art and even won awards. But my work, while absorbing in process, also caused me anxiety. I began to fear the blank page. I wondered what I had to express that was so special. How could I consider myself an artist, a writer?
I read books about creative women - few seemed to have had families of their own. Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Virginia Woolf haunted me. I loved their work but was frightened by their lives. So I turned away from the blank page. I spent the next ten years working on Wall Street.
At the age of 32, I had my first child. On becoming a mother, the buried part of myself - the emotional and curious, the creative - roared back to life. I wrote, then began painting again. Mothering had returned me to my expressive, creative self.
Over the next twenty years, I painted and wrote but always in the spaces left over after my family's needs. If I did the work it was with guilt. At the studio, I felt that I should have been reading to the children. At home with the boys, I often felt bored by the routine of feeding, cleaning, comforting, and caring.
Four years ago, I was in the middle of my life. My boys were in their teens. Launched. Beautiful. But, what had I to show for this? No book to my name. Hundreds of paintings, but few that had left my studio. My inspiration for the film came in 2003 when I heard the story of Maye Torres, a mother of three boys like me, who made sacred images of women protecting the earth. She had no income outside of her art. How had she managed to make a life out of her art while I had not? I wanted to find out how other women had managed to mother and create. I so often felt divided. Had they? Months later, I met Maye in person and knew I had to tell her story. I realized that her struggles and mine told a story that was bigger than both of us. I set out to find other women whose lives and art would help me tell it.
Dr. Kevin Ledgewood Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa County, Inc. Box 1117 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403 phone: 205-758-5195, x15 fax: 205-345-2787 website: www.tuscarts.org "Drawing the Community Into the Arts"