Flicks from chicks

By
October 10, 2002

Mills College Weekly

Get ready; the second annual Luna Film Festival is heading your way. A lively, introspective collection of six films by women, for and about women, will descend on Mills’ campus on Oct. 17.

A benefit to raise money for breast cancer, Luna Fest has complied award-winning works by emerging filmmakers to create a festival laced with comedy and thought-provoking imagery.

According to director Yanna Krushner, the festival showcases real women telling stories that are important to their lives, offering the unique experiences that make up the multidimensional lives of women.

Grrlyshow, by Kara Herold, reveals the fun and experimentation that lies behind the undertaking of publishing alternative ‘zines. Interviews with ‘zine creators-Bitch, and HUE just to name a few-mixed with 1950s-era footage complete with lounge music, are not only comedic but also brilliant.

While Grrlyshow uses humor to illustrate the difficulties alternative women-oriented publications face, Personal Touch does the opposite.

Directed by Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabaar, this four-minute short depicts the director’s conflicting feelings toward her mother’s experience with breast cancer. Shot in black and white, Personal Touch explores Abdul-Jabbar’s feelings about the possibility of the disease taking over her own breasts. It’s gritty and at times shocking in both content and imagery.

Personal Touch will evoke some uneasiness among the audience, but Dear Judge will bring out a few tissues.

Set in Alabama, this documentary follows the three children of Dorothy Gaines after she has been sentenced for 20 years in federal prison for a drug related crime she did not commit. Director Laleh Soomekh follows Gaines and her children’s efforts to deal with her absence as they concurrently fight for her freedom. The content and heart wrenching lamentative gospel music elicit the desperation and inequity that surround the Gaines family.

The Gaines family’s arduous journey with the court system will no doubt leave a lingering sadness. But Boobie Girl, a bubbly animation, explodes onto the screen with its bright crayola colors demanding your full attention. Based on Director Brooke Keesling’s personal experience, this is a tale about a young girl’s wish for large breasts gone awry. The girl’s yearning for large breasts comes true, only for her to realize having large breasts is not all it’s supposed to be.

“This is a film I wished I had seen when I was younger…Something in the media to counteract that women should have enormous breasts,” said Keesling who said she was once that very same little girl.

Boobie Girl has gained wide acceptance among the film circuit. It was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and HBO Comedy Festival. The comedy has been awarded the 2001 motion Picture Academy Award for Best Student Animation and 2002 Emmy Award for Best Student Animation Gold. Keesling attacks a sensitive personal experience with humor and clarity to shed light on a subject rarely explored by mainstream media.

The Luna film festival, which started over a year ago, has gone from eight to 14 venues this year according to Kushner, with over 160 submissions, a 50 percent increase from last year.

Its collaboration with the breast cancer fund continues the Festival’s mission: to empower women. With that in mind, the 2002 Luna film Festival will always be right at home here at Mills.

“Mills was our first public screening, said Kushner. “We’re thrilled to be back.”


Flicks from chicks was published on October 10, 2002 in Arts & Entertainment

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