Friendship is Revolutionary: ‘Daisies’ and ‘One Sings, the Other Doesn’t’
Four years before the Czech Spring, Věra Chytilová’s ‘Daisies’ dared to mock the pieties of the Soviet authorities in grand absurdist style. A visually exquisite folie á deux between two friends, this film is a joyful, proto riot grrl tale volatile enough to earn an immediate ban on release in 1968.
When Agnès Varda made ‘One Sings, the Other Doesn’t’, her folk-pop abortion musical, in 1977, abortion was only two years legal in France. At its heart, ‘One Sings…’ is about the sustaining power of female friendship, but it is also a joyous feminist anthem for the right to choose in all things, embroidered smocks included.
Rediscovering Revolutions: ‘A Place of Rage’ and ‘Before Stonewall’
Pratibha Parmar’s ‘A Place of Rage’ (available for the first time on DCP) is an urgent history of African-American women driving the civil rights, Black power and feminist movements. Weaving together the story of the 1960s civil rights movement and 1980s LGBT rights, it also features the music of Prince and Janet Jackson.
1969 was a landmark year in American LGBTQ+ lives, but the Stonewall Riots were not the start of gay lives in the US. Greta Schiller’s ‘Before Stonewall’ (available for the first time on DCP) deploys a treasure trove of archive footage and historical songs laced with double entendres to document these stories.
The Revolution at Home: ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’ and ‘Carry Greenham Home’
Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’ (available for the first time on DCP) is an absolutely essential avant-garde film. Not just about revolution in subject but also in style, the film boasts neon acrobats, Gertrude Stein, union politics and the question of childcare and the first on-screen mixed-race lesbian relationship. A field guide to overground and underground revolutions in Britain in 1977.
‘Carry Greenham Home’ (available for the first time on DCP) captures the women’s anti-nuclear protests at Greenham Common. While the world’s media focused on the events at the camp, this film tells the story from the inside, away from the often patronising coverage. “The women of Greenham Common taught a generation how to protest,” noted the film’s co-director Beeban Kidron and to this day it is a testament to what a revolution is really like to live through and will ignite your rebellious spirit!
A Girl’s Own Revolution: ‘The Cat Has Nine Lives’ and ‘The Girls’
‘The Cat Has Nine Lives’ finds five women discussing and living life, love, politics and revolution. Recalling the work of Fassbinder and Godard, this hugely stylish film aches to be seen fifty years after release. Discover Ula Stöckl’s swoonsome Technicolor beauty in this stunning new restoration, available for the first time in the UK.
Mai Zetterling’s ‘The Girls’, described by no less than Simone de Beauvoir as ‘the best movie ever made by a woman’, is a loose, riotous adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata that captures the all female revolution in Sweden in 1968. As beautiful as anything Bergman ever shot, and featuring one of his key actors Bibi Andersson, this absurdist masterpiece should be seen by everyone.