The Resumption of Work in Film

Welcome to the 2021 Frankfurt Women's Film Days

The programme extends through the 125-year history of the cinema, beginning in 1885 with the first film. Auguste and Louis Lumière had just invented the Cinématographe. Their first images show workers leaving the Lumière factory where photographic plates were manufactured. Many of them are women. The Industrial Revolution was also female.

A number of years later, two films were made that are part of the legendary Mitchell & Kenyon collection. Spinning and weaving workers – including many children – are leaving a factory in industrialised England. People haggle and shove each other at a fish market. These silent films are witnesses to the transition to modern society.

A classic strike(-ending) scenario can be seen in Resumption of Work at the Wonder Factory. In June 1968, people vote to return to work in the Wonder factories in Saint-Ouen, France. But one young female worker protests the compromise furiously, demonstrating the spontaneity of the workers' revolt. Two union members try to convince her. At the factory gate, an authoritarian "boss" demands obedience.

In the early 1980s, at a time of radical political upheavals in India, the Yungatar film collective created emancipatory films, among them the improvised narrative short Is this just a Story? It tells of a young woman in the process of articulating her situation as she fights her way out of domestic violence, the burdens of being a housewife and mother, isolation and depression.

Then, in her performance video Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler "replaces the domesticated 'meaning' of tools with a lexicon of rage and frustration" – and with subversive humour.

The experimental film work of artists Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson once infiltrated a masculine domain. Lynne Sachs calls on them with her Super 8 and 16mm cameras, asking them to look back and to describe their current artistic work.

The programme ends with a "radicalised servant girl". The ladies and gentlemen have gone on a journey, and Cunégonde's family pays her a visit. Not a good thing all for the bourgeois household!

The silent films will be accompanied on the grand piano by Uwe Oberg

Sortie d’Usine

FR 1895 | Director: Louis Lumière | b/w | DCP of 35mm, restored version | 1 min | silent | Institut Lumière

Employees leaving Gilroy’s Jute Works, Dundee

GB 1901 | Director, Production: Mitchell & Kenyon | b/w | DCP of 35mm | 3 min | silent | British Film Institute

North Sea Fisheries, North Shields

GB 1901 | Director, Production: Mitchell & Kenyon | b/w | DCP of 35mm | 3 min | silent | British Film Institute  

La Reprise du Travail aux Usines Wonder / Resumption of Work at the Wonder Factory

FR 1968 | Director: Etats Généraux du Cinéma | Camera: Pierre Bonneau | Sound: Liane Estiez | b/w | 16mm | 10 min | french OV with german SUB | Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V

Idhi Katha Matramena / Is this just a Story?

IND 1983 | Director: Yugantar Film Collective | Camera: Navroze Contractor | Editor: Lawrence | Sound: Deepa Dhanraj | Cast: Lalita K., Poornachandra Rao, Rama Melkote | b/w | DCP | 26 min | telugu OV with english SUB | Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V

Semiotics of the Kitchen

USA 1975 | Director: Martha Rosler | DCP | b/w | 6 min | amer. OV | Electronic Arts Intermix

Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor

USA 2018 | Director, Camera, Sound, Production: Lynne Sachs | Colour | DCP | 9 min | OV with english SUB | Kino Rebelde

Cunégonde reçoit sa famille

FR 1912 | Cast: Little Chrysia | b/w | 6 min | DCP | silent | dutch INT + english SUB | EYE Film Institute Amsterdam

TUE, 23.11.21

7.30 pm

Pupille – Kino in der Uni