Esther Broner, subject of the documentary ‘Esther Broner: A Weave of Women,’ is best known for the feminist Hagaddah that she co-authored. But that was just the beginning of this feminist icon’s influence.
‘Why is a nice Jewish girl like me making a film about pigs and bacon?’ Suzanne Wasserman, who made the film ‘Meat Hooked!’ has an answer.
Courtesy of Riverside Films
While various critics have noted the strong influence that Jews have had on the creation of American comics, few have fully explored the role of Jewish women. Yet Jewish women have often been at the forefront of creative explorations in the graphic narrative form. And in many of their comics, Jewish identity is a fertile site of exploration of the unstable, contradictory, and ambiguous figurations of the self in a postmodern world.
Courtesy of Yonathan & Masha Films
In a 2007 obituary for Grace Paley published in the New York Times, Margalit Fox wrote that “Ms. Paley was among the earliest American writers to explore the lives of women — mostly Jewish, mostly New Yorkers — in all their dailiness.” Lilly Rivlin’s recent documentary, “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts,” screening March 27 at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival, brings together a chorus of voices from friends, family and colleagues to Paley herself, to convey a powerful portrait of an artist, poet, teacher and political figure whose depictions of the everyday lives of women had, and continue to have, a deep and powerful impact.
The short new documentary, “Sweatshop Cinderella,” captures the fascinating life story of the writer Anzia Yezierska. Best known for her 1925 novel, “Bread Givers,” Yezierska’s incredible life story involved a romance with philosopher John Dewey, as well as a brief stint in Hollywood. The documentary reveals fragments of the only known voice recording of Yezierska, as well as clips from “Hungry Hearts,” the 1922 silent Hollywood film that was based on her short stories. Tahneer Oksman sat down with award-winning filmmaker and historian Suzanne Wasserman to talk about her motivation behind making the film and why she thinks people are still so riveted by this early 20th-century immigrant writer.