Video

Tender Fictions

Barbara Hammer

1995, 58:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 215.07

Pioneer lesbian-feminist filmmaker, Barbara Hammer, constructs an autobiography before someone does it for her in this post-post-modern sequel to her 1992 award winning documentary, "Nitrate Kisses".
Childhood stories of the artist as a young lesbian and intimate tales of the lesbian as a young artist underscore the filmmaker's life of performances. With a Swiss army knife she robs an American Express Bank in Morocco, accosts a shepherd in a field on International Women's Day and tap dances on Shirley Temple's star on Hollywood Boulevard. This child movie star was the ideal by which Hammer's ambitious mother measured her own Barbie. Grandma, already a cook for Lillian Gish in Hollywood, introduced the cute, loquacious child and her mother to D.W. Griffith.
Lesbian autobiography is a slender genre, so Hammer draws from general culture studies for critique and to provide an ironic edge to the synthesized "voices of authority". Using personal archival footage of the AFL/CIO faculty strike at San Francisco State College supported by the Black Panther Party (1968), the first San Diego Women's Music Festival (1965), and the Take Back The Night March in San Francisco (1979),
Hammer challenges a younger generation to visualize a world before they existed.
The stories tug at your heart, the theory teases your intellect, and the fragile line between truth and fiction provoke you in this dense and hypnotic montage.

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