World Film Fest! March 1993 At Fresno State

In 1993, Me and my cohorts in LGBSA, with funding by USU and after the Reality Party cut off our funding, so not ASI presented “World Film Fest”, a look at human rights, women’s rights and LGBT Rights in a mishmash multicultural Film Fest!

Reel Life Inside the Warsaw Ghetto –
This was the most startling film about the Holocaust I had ever seen. From its website:

Just months before the Nazis all but emptied the Warsaw Ghetto — sending some 300,000 of its residents to perish at Treblinka — they sent camera-wielding soldiers to capture the increasingly imperiled Jewish community within the ghetto walls. After 30 days of filming in May 1942, the soldiers packed up their equipment; their 62-minute film would forever go unfinished and without a soundtrack. The story of this footage — Nazi propaganda that has been widely used to illustrate ghetto life — is the subject of Yael Hersonski’s new documentary, “A Film Unfinished.” In advance of the documentary’s January 25 world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Hersonski, who is 33 and lives in Tel Aviv, spoke with the Forward’s Gabrielle Birkner about what was going on behind the scenes of the film production, the Nazis’ preoccupation with moving pictures and her personal connection to the film.
Gabrielle Birkner: What prompted you to make a documentary about this mysterious, unfinished Nazi film?
Yael Hersonski: I was not thinking only about the Holocaust, but also about [other] catastrophes and atrocities — and what happens when the last survivor is gone and we’re left merely with images and archives. I went to Berlin to study German, and I started to go through the film archive there. I was completely shocked by the existence of this 62-minute film. This film is one of the archive’s biggest mysteries. I said, let’s go into the depth of this mystery because what we don’t know is who made it [and] why it was made such a short time before most of the ghetto’s population would be annihilated.

Also featured featured in this “World Film Fest”, was this gem: A Place of Rage. This film TOTALLY ROCKED my world!! Directed by Pratibha Parmar. In it, you meet Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hamer, June Jordan for the first time. You get taken deeply into their world. In June Jordan’s segment, a poem you’ll never forget, “A Place of Rage” Join this flick’s fan page:

A Place of Rage – Trailer

A Place of Rage is an exhuberant award winning documentary by filmmaker Pratibha Parmar. It is a celebration of the contributions and achievements of prominent African American women and includes interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker. Within the context of civil rights, black power, lesbian and gay rights and the feminist movement, the trio reassess how women like Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer revolutionised American society and the world generally. A PLACE OF RAGE made its debut in 1991 yet it’s content is still one of the richest and most cherished with candid interviews from Angela Davis, Alice Walker and powerful poetry from June Jordan.
“This lyrical film begins the much needed exploration of the Afro-American women who sustained and inspired the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s. By shining an intimate light on some of our best known artists / activists Parmar eloquently reveals the power and poetry of the hidden faces. Her film is a visual embrace of who black women really are . ” Jewelle Gomez

Warrior Marks:
There one particular film everyone wanted to see. The one film we had to show in THE SMALL ROOM. So we fit about 120 people into a room designed to sit about 80. Word of mouth about this even took off. This is the one film that crammed the room to the rafters, and the only film everyone got word of mouth about. The room was too small. The film rental was one night only. Was embarrassed our room was so small.
Warrior Marks was by Alice Walker with Filmmaker talent Pratibha Parmar, a documentary about female genital mutilation, about women’s rights, human rights and children’s rights.
This film was a hot on the women’s issues festival circuit item at the time. I have no idea how we were able to get ahold of it. But the concept is simple: export human rights for women from liberal Western Culture to the conservative old world cultures of Africa, Arabia and India.

Finally, in this tour down memory lane, two films we showed were so super fun to watch, everybody left feeling happy inside:
One was a really uplifting. It documents a Jewish Lesbian Wedding. I think I may have located this film 1991 documentary, listed as released in 2004. It was a wedding outside of state recognition back then, but it was a wedding nonetheless. I cannot recall its name, but it played in Jewish Film Festivals as well as LGBT Film Festivals. I was really proud of having ordered this one.

Another was a point of view documentary that was simply exquisite. The filmmaker started out at a Farmer’s Market in Berkeley and took us on a colorful, flavorful journey back to her native Vietnam, to see her Grandmother, and they make spring rolls, an old world delight that takes all day to prepare. Absolutely magnificent film.

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