Who Does She Think She Is? at ACME Screening Room in Lambertville, NJ

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Who Does She Think She Is? just screened this weekend at the ACME Screening Room in Lambertville, NJ.  We received a wonderful email from Sara Scully, Program Producer, who organized the screening.  I shared the message with Pam, who had tears in her eyes when she heard about the audience response and especially when Sara said the film “treats its subjects with the caring interest of a friend.”  Here’s Sara’s message:

FILM ABOUT ARTIST-MOMS IS REALLY FOR EVERYONE

Last weekend the ACME Screening Room, Lambertville, NJ (www.nickelodeonnights.org) hosted a screening of the documentary film WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? which profiles several women artists and the ways each have found to balance being a mother and a wife and an artist, or in some cases not, and instead blazing a totally different path post-divorce and a lot of soul searching.

I am not a mother. I don’t struggle with finding time to express my creativity or wondering if I have “permission to” from the world around me.  But I still connected with this film because its focus is in fact universal, despite its subject being limited to artist-moms.  It does not matter if you are married with children or single, every one of us all of the time is working on balancing our lives, making the calculations about time and how much to give to others versus our selves, to what extent our feeding ourselves and indulging in time for self discovery will in turn feed others and to what extent it will isolate us or disappoint our loved ones and to what extent we are responsible for that disappointment.  Anyone who has been part of a family or a pack of friends has weighed the cost and rewards of self-expression, whether in her opinions or her art.  Everyone has asked, how much can I put out there of my authentic self?

While this film is about mothers making these calculations, anyone can relate to this issue and as a result this film.  And what’s wonderful is that the film presents many answers to the problematic. Each woman takes a different path. Some stayed married and made art happily, others divorced and found more time for self-expression.  One even gave up art all together and her marriage (not in that order) and started a “goddess training” retreat center/cooperative farm!  That became her authentic path.

But the limited choice of subjects in the film, moms, all of whom I related to, ironically is connected with the one feminist criticism I had of it.  At one point in the film my beloved, Bill Moyers gives a monologue listing lots of fabulous women artists, writers and trailblazers and then he says, “None of these women were mothers.”  I get it.  This film is about Moms and how hard it is for them to do what they want to do with little ones demanding and frankly needing their time for survival. But as a feminist film, do we really need to be pitted against each other this way?  We are all women struggling against female expectations and balancing our lives.  And some of us are care giving for our families or aging parents, perhaps not kids but still the female balancing act prevails.

But aside from that, this film, evidenced by our 50 person post-film discussion (nearly everyone stayed for it!) brought women together.  This screening drew more audience members than any other program we have presented.  We even had to add a third screening that night, to accommodate the overwhelming response.

This huge turnout is a testament to the universality of the film and the fact that our town is, in the words of one audience member, “Into nurturing.”  We go in for this stuff.  Whether it’s in our local artist galleries, our annual parade of local pets in costume, The Pet Masquerade, our annual tour of local’s gorgeous home gardens (sponsored by the Kalmia Women’s Club!) or the countless spontaneous porch-side chats about all of the above, our town fosters creative, intimate moments.  Lambertville affords space and time for our seeing one another’s creativity and sharing ideas and personal experience.  Perfectly put, this audience member added “One requirement for living in Lambertville is being friendly.”  So true.  And this film is “friendly”: open, honest, and a loving portrayal of women.  It treats its subjects with the caring interest of a friend—perfect for Lambertville.

We, Friends of Lambertville Library were grateful for the chance to include WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? in our ACME Screening Room film series and that the filmmakers made it affordable for us.  Thank you.  We are also grateful to: the Kalmia Club and the Gebhardt & Kiefer Law Office, Clinton, NJ – Richard P. Cushing, Resident Partner who sponsored this film event and to artists Aylin Green and Annelies van Dommelen for suggesting we show this film and getting the word out about the screening.  You gave our community another nurturing experience.  Thank you!

Sara Scully
Program Producer
ACME Screening Room
Lambertville, NJ
http://www.nickelodeonnights.org

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3 Responses to “Who Does She Think She Is? at ACME Screening Room in Lambertville, NJ”

  1. Karen Conlon Says:

    Hi Sara!
    I love the Acme Screening room, and I hope it continues in Lambertville. It is a great compliment to our town. Have you given any thought to reshowing the Saurday movies mid week? Maybe Wednesday nights?
    Also, has any thought been given to Teen Movie Night on Fridays. Are you connected into SHRHS or New Hope/Solebury High School? Great places to advertise for a teen movie night as well as volunteers.
    Keep up the good work!
    Karen

  2. I follow your posts for a long time and must tell that your posts are always valuable to readers.

  3. If you enjoyed “Who does she think she is?” you’ll love “In a Dream”

    Saturday, June 13th – 7 pm, 8:30 pm & 10:10 pm
    9:50 pm Post Film Discussion

    “As a portrait of a sweet but slightly fractured man, it’s one of the most unexpectedly touching documentaries I’ve ever seen.” –Cinematical
    Its an amazing Doc about family, codependency, addiction, and artistic consciousness–the way the dreaminess, otherness, and essential egocentricity of an artist can crash against the needs of family life. Can the same person who creates breathtaking visual art destroy a family with his blindness to the simplest needs of other? Its a deeply psychological film, and also a beautiful one.
    Check it out!
    Trailer: http://www.inadreammovie.com

    Synopsis: For forty years Isaiah Zagar has covered more than 50,000 square feet of Philadelphia with stunning mosaic murals. In A Dream is a moving documentary that explores Zagar’s prolific life as an artist and his passionate but tumultuous relationship with his wife Julia—a film about struggling to balance a creative life with family and the place where art and life blend beyond distinction.

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