This summer I’ll be working on a short documentary about cross-generational feminist activism in Chile. My co-director Bernadita Llanos and I will be traveling to Santiago in August with our DP, Evan Carter.
The current feminist wave in Chile has brought to the public debate a social outcry condemning violence against women, male privilege and male abuse of power in a wide range of social spaces. This has blurred the private/public divide which traditionally held women back, pressuring them to keep quiet, forget or forgive gender discrimination and other sexual grievances they suffered. The impact of the global #Metoo Movement can now be found across Latin America.
College feminists have called for student strikes, college sit-ins and takeovers in protest of sex discrimination and abuse of power by male faculty. Activists have also organized massive protests against feminicides, denouncing perpetrators and developing an awareness campaign against gender violence. Chile has joined with other countries in the region where the NiUnaMenos (Not One Fewer Woman) campaign and Cuéntamelo (Tell me) have had broad public support and exerted pressure on governments all the way from Mexico to Argentina to reform their constitutions and dismantle outdated and violent forms of a patriarchal culture and its institutions.
During the dictatorship the women’s movement allied with the political opposition and other human rights organizations to end Pinochet’s rule and return to democracy. The advent of democracy in 1990, however, brought about the movement’s retreat when feminist activists joined traditional political parties or kept a double militancy - in the parties and feminist organizations - and women’s demands took the back seat. Today, disappointment with the politics of consensus and neoliberalism which the political elite forged with the military during the transition to democracy, has given birth to the new feminist and student movements which demand cultural and political change.
The film explores the following questions: 1. What is the role of memory of former militants and survivors of politico-sexual torture in the wider society and especially in younger feminists? Have they passed on their experiences of sexual abuse as torture which took place in the last dictatorship? 2. Does the feminist movement intersect with the student movement in the call for a non-sexist education and demand for a new curriculum that includes work by women? 3. What is the agenda of the new feminist movement? Does it link the present with the past?
Director Bernadita Llanos Mardones is Professor of Spanish with a specialty on Latin American women writers and film directors. She received her PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brasilian Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She published the book Passionate Subjects/Split Subjects in Twentieth Century Narrative in Chile. Brunet, Bombal and Eltit (2009) and Redescubrimiento y Reconquista de América en la Ilustración española (1994). Many of her articles on Latin American culture and women writers have appeared in well-known American, Latin American and European journals. She has co-authored and edited several books among them Poner el cuerpo: visibilizar y rescatar las marcas sexuales y de género de los archivos dictatoriales del Cono Sur (2017), Chile de Memoria: A 40 años del golpe (2017), Fronteras de la memoria: cartografías de género en artes visuales, cine y literatura en las Américas y España(2012), Paisajes de Chile Actual: Arte, Cine, Narrativa, Poesía y Teatro Contemporáneo (2009), Letras y proclamas: la estética narrativa de Diamela Eltit (2006), and Reinas de otro cielo. Modernidad y autoritarismo en la obra de Pedro Lemebel (2004).
Co-Director Martha Gregory is a filmmaker, editor, writer, director and professor of film at Kenyon College. She received her MFA in Film from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. Martha’s most recent short doc, Three Red Sweaters, won Best Documentary at Aspen Shortsfest as well as the Jacob Burns Creative Culture Award at Middlebury New Filmmaker’s Film Festival in 2017. It is a Vimeo Staff Pick and appears on Short of the Week. She was an additional editor on both One Vote, a feature doc that premiered at the Omaha Film Festival and the narrative feature Solace directed by Tchaiko Omwale which premiered at the LA Film Festival in 2018. She is currently editing Kenyon College’s first feature film Gotta Get Down to It by Jonathan Tazewell. www.marthagregory.com @marmot88
Director of Photography Evan Carter is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. He started in film as an assistant editor at The Smithsonian Channel in Washington, DC. When he moved to NYC, he started working as a director and cinematographer, and filmed several short documentaries for Al Jazeera and Vox Media. This past year he was a camera operator and assistant editor on the Emmy award winning travel show, Bare Feet. A collaborative spirit is at the core of everything he does.