It’s a movie for men, too!

One of the challenges of a making a movie centered on so-called “women’s issues” is that it’s hard to get men to be interested. This is particularly frustrating for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think the film speaks to a universal need as humans to nurture our artistic and creative impulses, and resulting conflict that can arise when one does this. Secondly, if the particular situation for women is ever to change, it will take the bold open-minds of both men and women to set new examples of how to live life in the balance: with each other, with children, with careers, with artistic pursuit, etc.

On that note, I wanted to share a couple of great responses I got from men who saw the movie and were really engaged by it. Michael Schoenfeld, a friend who is Director of Development at Middlebury College, had this to say:

“It seemed the film was about some sort of lack of a feminine/masculine balance in our lives and in our society – a balance that we need to achieve to be fully human. Has society devalued our care giving instincts to the point that we feel guilty if we take time to pursue artistic expression? Women artists, particularly those who are also mothers, are on the front line of this feminine/masculine collision, struggling to make a living while trying to nurture their spouse and their children while feeling the desperate need to nurture their soul through their art. Is feminism about gaining perspective on restoring this balance in our lives and our society, not just for women but for all of us?

It was not coincidental that she choose to show some of the women artists working in their gardens or cooking meals. This was the film’s way to remind us of the sacredness of fertility in the natural world. To be in perfect harmony with nature, we need to be care-givers. We achieve this harmony with the environment when we have the clarity of awareness to respect and honor that which nourishes us.

It was in the context of harmony that I asked Pam about the feminist meaning of the film. The environmental movement has taken many forms, from activism based on confrontation and regulation to the notion of sustainability -harmony achieved through finding the interconnections and balance points between community, economy, and the natural world. Perhaps one aspect of feminism is a similar holistic approach to developing the most fulfilling and balanced connections we can, not only between each other, but between those parts of our lives that make us human.

The film made a compelling case for the need for a better feminine/masculine balance in our lives and in our society through the lives of the women fully engulfed in this complex and often painful struggle. The lesson this teaches us is a gift for men as much as for women. Thank you, Pam!”

Mike

And Jonathan Howard, who is a young freelance editor who works in non-fiction independent film and television (currently at The History Channel), had this to say:

“This movie should be seen by everyone – men and women – who are trying to make a living for themselves in the arts. Even more importantly, it should be seen by the children, spouses, parents, coworkers and friends of those men and women. Never in recent memory has a movie so perfectly captured the bizarre, complex and often terrifying process of making art while trying to be a responsible, functional member of a community which has no idea what you’re doing.”

-Jonathan Howard

Thanks to Mike and Jon for writing such thoughtful responses to the film. It’s a great testimonial to the fact that this film doesn’t just speak to women!

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