USA 1982 | Director: Elizabeth Barret | Production: Appalshop, Inc. | Colour | 16mm | 39 min | amer. OV | Cinenova
This sensitive documentary about women in mining settlements describes how women broke into this field of work through intense legal disputes. The miners discuss why they want to work in mines despite the danger, filth and physical strain. Most women can otherwise only get poorly-paid jobs as waitresses or babysitters in the settlement, so work in the mines is the only opportunity of getting good wages. Alone or in groups, the women disuss their socialisation-induced lack of knowledge about working with tools, discrimination in education, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Archival footage and film clips are used in a historical review of women's engagement as mine workers and union members and as supports of their husbands, sons and brothers. The omnipresent dangers of accidents and black lung disease are depicted strikingly in this film. The need to form a pregnancy police force is also discussed. (femme totale 1991)
DE, ROU 2018 | Director, Editor, Sound: Alexandra Gulea | Script: Kathrin Lauer, Alexandra Gulea | Camera: Nicu Ilfoveanu | Music: Stéphane Karo | Production: Thomas Ciulei | Colour | DCP | 13 min | romanian OV with english SUB | Archive International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
In the Jiu Valley, once a traditional Romanian industrial area, parents now make long journeys to the West wherever they find work. They return too rarely. They send money. Their children are a lot like orphans. Many of them suffer from depression. Some choose the deathly path to paradise or hell. Perhaps hoping to return to a friendlier valley. (International Short Film Festival Oberhausen)
DE 2021 | Director, Camera, Editor: Angelika Levi | Cast: Nancy Torres Geoninatti, Talia Ocampo, Carla Lozano, Lisa Riedner, Hadeer El Mahdawy, Teo Peo, Jhonaikel Vielma, Nancy Jancovich, Jorge, Luis Ramirez, Hector Ramirez, Jhehovany Aries | Music: Udo Moll | Sound Design: Erik Mischijew | Sound: Hadeer El Mahdawy, Lisa Riedner | Costumes: Nancy Torres Geoninatti | Head of Production: Jan Lemitz | Production: Kristina Konrad, Weltfilm | Coproduction: Angelika Levi, celestefilm | Colour | DCP | 22 min | english/span. OV with english SUB | Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
Ahorita Frames is a portrait of the Latin American cleaning women who were commissioned by an asbestos disposal contractor to work for a year on the clean-up operation in the ruins of 9/11 – without residency or work permits, and without appropriate dust protection masks. Dust was everywhere and hung in the air, as did the smell of decay. It was unfathomably horrible, yet Angelika Levi's film gets close to the crew in an almost playful way, without trivialising anything. Ahorita Frames jumps back and forth between documentary footage of New York and reenactments with migrants that Levi staged on the other side of the Mexican border. She reconstructs anecdotes from the lives of the cleaning women, who tell their own stories off-screen. One woman imagines herself as a character in a soap opera to come to terms with what she experienced; others seek refuge in gallows humour. Particularly impressive is the scene in which the illegal service providers are honoured alongside other "first responders" and are paid tribute at a banquet. (Were the cleaning women able to make claims through the Victim Compensation Fund that was passed in 2019, nearly twenty years late?) The two-pronged structure of the film that switches between New York and the Mexican border reconstructs the mutual relatedness of these two places, which disappears with the women's deportation. At the same time, as the film's title suggests, it recommends a different, transnational frame for the events and aftermath of 11 September. (Nikolaus Perneczky, Jochen Werner/ Perlentaucher. The culture magazine)
Followed by a conversation with Angelika Levi