One of the best ways to learn about the world and its many peoples is by listening to stories. When underrepresented groups are given the opportunity to participate – and be heard – they can broaden other people’s views of the world. Documentaries have this power in a special way, as they take us straight into situations we could never dream of.
This week’s crowdfunding pick includes three documentaries produced by women. They all capture a unique perspective on the world while chronicling the history of a specific person and a certain place.
The Secret Life of Flowers follows four teenage artists over a period of eight years as they grow up in an era of instability in Morocco. “Left Bank” chronicles the untold history of the four feminist women behind author James Joyce. Finally, “Nurse Unseen” documents the unusually large toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has left on Filipino nurses.
Here are the latest crowdfunding picks for women and Hollywood.
In this documentary, director Michel Medina follows four teenage artists from Morocco on the move as they grow up as they create art during a period of instability in their country. Spanning eight years, the film explores coming of age in an environment of turmoil and how their art raises their voices in the midst of chaos.
Sarah is an architect and mixed media artist who struggles to embrace her intersecting identities and find her place in the world. Her sister Nisreen is a fashion designer, color and textile artist who challenges beauty standards in her work. Photographer and storyteller describes Iman as an eternal traveler and student of the world. Alya is a photographer and mixed media artist pushing the definitions of how we present ourselves in modern society.
“Their aspirations and dreams for freedom of expression, equality, justice and a place they call the homeland reflect the reason for the uprisings of that time.” The project’s Kickstarter campaign. Their journeys are inseparable from the region’s journey that began but did not end with the Arab Spring. Everything that has happened to the girls will tell us all about the potential and fragility of movement and its hope for the future. They were and are, like their generation, flowers of moment and movement, full of potential, strong and fragile. “
While many may know that Sylvia Beach published James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” in 1922 when no one else knew, not many know the story of Petsch and the three other feminists who contributed to Joyce’s success.
“Society is keen to highlight the unrecognized role women have played in history and the influence they have had over men in politics, science and literature,” Kickstarter campaign for this document. “Left Bank” seeks to reveal the true story of the unknown woman behind a literary giant and the secret feminist history of a revolutionary library in Paris.
In “Left Bank,” filmmakers Lisa Reznick and Margo Dupont recreate Joyce’s story and reveal a female viewpoint for the first time. In addition to the Beach Library owner and publicist, the film will reveal the stories of Adrienne Monnier, entrepreneur and innovator; Harriet Weaver, freelance publisher and feminist activist; And Norah Barnacle Joyce, Joyce’s wife and muse.
This mixed documentary will use a mixture of interviews, archival photos, drawings, cartoons, and written scenes to tell the stories of the women.
Debates about COVID-19 and conversations about healthcare in the United States have highlighted many inequalities – but one of the nurses and disparate film directors Michelle Guzo did not discuss it and that is the sheer number of Filipino nurses who have lost their lives due to the pandemic.
According to a study by National Nurses United, Filipinos make up only four percent of nurses in the United States, yet they account for more than 25 percent of nurse deaths due to COVID-19. “Nurse Unseen” will explore why the epidemic has taken a heavy toll on the Philippine nursing community.
After seeing these disturbing stats, “the filmmakers immediately set out to understand why this was happening in our community,” they said in Kickstarter campaign. “When we started researching and filming, we quickly realized that we were witnessing the fallout from the complex, century-long history of Filipino nurses who play in the lives of Filipino and Filipino-American nurses today.”
The film will feature testimonials from Filipino nurses on the front lines, a veteran nurse who has battled COVID for eight months, academics and historians, and families dealing with the loss of loved ones. The majority of the Filipino crew are looking forward to sharing this story with the world.
To consider the biweekly crowdfunding feature of Women and Hollywood, please write to [email protected]. All formats are welcome (features, shorts, web series, etc.). Projects must be by and / or about women.