iEAR Presents! Irene Lusztig's "Yours in Sisterhood"

iEAR Presents! Irene Lusztig's "Yours in Sisterhood"

EMPAC Studio Beta

March 27, 2019 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

During a research fellowship at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, documentary filmmaker Irene Lusztig took a deep dive into the archives of America’s first mass-circulated feminist magazine, Ms. Lusztig was drawn to the extensive collection of letters to the editor that spanned 1972-1980. Making editorial decisions of her own, Lusztig selected hundreds of letters (the first 800 were paired down to 300) that would form the basis of her most recent participatory documentary, Yours in Sisterhood.


Using these letters as her guide, Lusztig went to the locations from which the letters were sent to the editors at Ms. Working with local participants at each site, these letters of yesterday were read aloud for today’s camera. Though Lusztig filmed a handful of original writers, the readings were done by individuals whom we might speculate could have been an acquaintance or distant relative of the original writer. Yours in Sisterhood asks its viewers as much about the past as it does about the present. As the participants read letters from the past, we begin to imagine how we might be read in the future. This is a film about feminisms and, beyond that, the human voice—its rights to and desires to be heard. How has the internet changed our ability to speak to the issues that affect us, when voices are so often drowned out by the chatter of millions? What will the archive we are building today look like, when the conversations of the present are reviewed in the future? Will clear voices rise-up from the noise, expressing hopes and demands for the future? Will we be heard?

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