In the 1960s and 70s, Delphine Seyrig stood before the camera for the big names in international cinema. With the rise of video technology, she began to make her own feminist works together with fellow filmmaker and activist Carole Roussopoulos. In 1975 and 1976, the pair asked 24 of their colleagues in France and the United States – including Juliet Berto, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine and Maria Schneider – about their experiences as women in the film business.
The interviews with the actresses are a shockingly unsurprising record of the era, creating a sobering assessment of working in an industry busy maintaining the machinery of male fantasies. Seyrig asks: “If you’d been a man, would you still have chosen to become an actor?” or “Have you ever acted in a scene with another woman and if so, was her role that of a competitor or a confidante?” – thus initiating a process of reflection. What’s astonishing is not the answers – a similar lack of nuanced roles and appropriate representation is still very much apparent today – but rather the fact that here, for once, someone was asking the right questions.
Documentary form110’ · Black/White
Juliet BertoJane FondaMaria SchneiderEllen BurstynBarbara SteeleTelias SalviAnne WiazemskyVivaRose de GregorioMarie Dubois
Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1932. In the 1960s and 1970s, she acted in films by Alain Resnais, François Truffaut, Luis Buñuel, Jacques Demy, and Chantal Akerman. In the early 1970s, in the milieu of Carole Roussopoulos, she discovered the possibilities of working with video; among other things, in 1976, she and Roussopoulos shot the feminist film S.C.U.M. Manifesto. Together with Ioana Wieder and Carole Roussopoulos, in 1982 she founded the Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir, and served as its president until her death in 1990.
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019
Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoirwww.centre-simone-de-beauvoir.com