Yours in Sisterhood

Date: Monday, March 18, 2019

Time: 7pm

Location: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

Director: Irene Lusztig

Film Details: 2018, 101 minutes, DCP, in English with open captions

Film Website | Facebook Event | Tickets

Best Feature Documentary Nominee at the Berlin International Film Festival and Best International Feature Nominee at the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM)

Filmmaker Irene Lusztig will attend in person for discussion with Erin Trahan, local film journalist for WBUR’s The ARTery.

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided at this event.

About the Film:

What might be revealed in the process of inviting strangers to act
out and respond to 1970s feminism forty years later? Between 2015 and
2017, hundreds of strangers in communities all over the US were invited
to read aloud and respond to letters from the 70s sent to the editor of
Ms. Magazine–the first mainstream feminist magazine in the US. The
intimate, provocative, and sometimes heartbreaking conversations that
emerge from these spontaneous performances make us think critically
about the past, present, and future of feminism. YOURS IN SISTERHOOD is a
collective portrait of feminism now and forty years ago that is newly
urgent in the aftermath of the 2016 election–a project about time
travel, embodied listening, empathy, public discourse, and the lost art
of letter writing.

About the Director:

“I am an internationally-exhibited, award-winning maker of nonfiction film, video, and new media. My work has been screened at film festivals, museums, and universities around the world. A lot of my work begins with research in archives, looking at historical materials and trying to bring them into conversation with the present day. I’m compelled by stories of the past that are misunderstood, overlooked, neglected, or forgotten and drawn to projects that allow me to explore historical spaces as a way to think about bigger questions of politics and ideology. I have explored issues around public feminism, language, and histories of women and women’s bodies across many previous works, including the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives and the ongoing web-based Worry Box Project. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California and teach filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz. More about my work is on my website.” -Irene Lusztig

Director’s Statement:

“An angry woman in Atlanta talks about the harassment she experiences in public space. An aspiring police woman complains that the police station in her small Iowa town refuses to hire qualified women. A sixteen-year old girl haltingly comes out as a lesbian for the first time. These are just a few of the thousands of fascinating letters to the editor–far too many to publish–that arrived at the Ms. magazine office in the 70s. These letters were written by women, men, and children of all ages, from all over the country, and from across the spectrum of sexual orientation, religious, racial, and ethnic background, physical ability, and political viewpoint. Spanning deeply personal accounts of individual problems, revelations, and political struggles, these 70s letters are a powerful invocation of the second-wave feminist slogan ‘the personal is political.’

I spent the summer of 2014 in the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
reading boxes containing thousands of these mostly-unpublished letters
to the editor. What was most striking during my archival research is
that the issues covered by these letters are still the same big issues
that women and gender nonconforming people are facing today–sexual
harassment, violence, and assault, access to abortion and birth control,
body image, workplace discrimination, gender and sexuality, race,
class, and inclusivity.

Inspired by these incredible letters, in the summer of 2015, I set off on a journey to share these letters with ordinary people all over the US. I wanted to know if this rich collective archive of everyday feminist history and experience could be a catalyst for a new kind of national conversation about feminism today…” Read more