NYWIFT Blog

Seven Women Sevens Sins: An Exceptional Collaboration of ’80s Indie Women Directors

By Kirsten Larvick

Made as part of series for German Television (ZDF) in 1986, Seven Women Seven Sins, proved to be an exceptional collaboration of 1980’s independent #DirectedByWomen cinema.

Representing five countries, the film explores the seven deadly Biblical sins through the inspired eyes of seven women filmmakers (five from Europe, two from the U.S.).

 

 

Working in various disciplines, each director was offered creative freedom to interpret their capital vice of choice.

Both quirky and innovative, the omnibus that is Seven Women Seven Sins brought together Chantel Akerman’s Sloth, Maxi Cohen’s Anger, Valie Export’s Lust, Laurence Gavron’s Envy, Bette Gordon’s Greed, Ulrike Ottinger’s Pride, and Helke Sander’s Gluttony, to consider the individual sins through distinctly different approaches.

Interpretations range from Sander’s take on gluttony in a re-imagining of Adam & Eve in a hyper-stylized Garden of Eden set as a depiction of modern male/female relationships, to Cohen’s provocative non-actor interviews mined from actual responses to a Village Voice ad. Both the hysterical and deeply disturbing emerge when Cohen invites everyday people to reveal on camera what churns below the surface. Gordon presents greed as a noir tale brought to life (and death) between to ladies in a women’s lounge. And only the beloved Ackerman can insert herself into the story of an artist’s struggle against sloth, and leave you wanting more.

Though each ZDF segment was produced separately, the episodic, Seven Women Seven Sins that broadcast within the regular series Das Kleine Fernsehspiel was a true collaborative effort. But it was Cohen who helmed the film version, which joined the sins into a 101-minute film, living on to receive festival honors worldwide.

Seven Women Seven Sins is a rare uniting these seven iconoclastic independent women artists under a stirring theme that encouraged adventurous storytelling. Looking at this work today in the context of 1980s cinema and what the individual artists were exploring (as well as their peers Lizzie Borden, Sara Driver, Susan Seidelman, Mira Nair, Sally Potter, and others), it’s clear that this period enjoyed great creative courage.

 

Come September 26th and September 27th, 2018, The Quad will show Seven Women Seven Sins. Don’t miss Cohen and Gordon’s post-screening Q&A on the 26th.

For tickets and information visit https://quadcinema.com/film/seven-women-seven-sins/

The Women’s Film Preservation Fund awarded a grant to this unique contribution to the art of cinema, but because of the varied formats of film and video that were used, and other complexities, it’s a more expensive preservation than originally estimated. It is essential to our film record to save works by these important women makers. Though copies of the film are around, the remaining materials are at risk. To help support the preservation of Seven Women Seven Sins, please consider support today. Visit https://www.nywift.org/donate/donate-to-the-wfpf/.

 

 

PUBLISHED BY

womens film preservation fund

womens film preservation fund The Women's Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) is the only program in the world dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of women in the industry through preserving American-made films by women. Founded in 1995 by New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), WFPF has preserved nearly 150 American films in which women have played key creative roles.

View all posts by womens film preservation fund

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*

Related Posts

Helping a Mentee Spread Her Wings

Each and every individual whom I’ve mentored has been special—and I’m proud of them all in what they have achieved; however, one mentee and her achievement in particular stands out for me. Her name is Sophie Meissner and her achievement is a short film called, Keep Your Head Up, Sweet Pea!

READ MORE

The Dilemma of Desire Empowers Women through a Greater Understanding of Their Sexuality

Maria Finitzo's film "The Dilemma of Desire," a documentary about female sexual desire, was difficult to pitch and sell because, according to Finitzo, “People were afraid of it, they think it's about porn or are worried they're going to see people having sex." Instead, the film delves into the essential, surprising, and often sad truth about most women’s understanding of their own sexual desires and their own bodies.

READ MORE

S. Casper Wong on Her Filmmaking Journey: Global Peace Film Festival

NYWIFT Board Member S. Casper Wong is an award-winning New York-based filmmaker, technology lawyer, social entrepreneur, activist, and Founder of OO Media. She is also the founding chair of Asian American Women Media Makers and is on the board of directors at NYWIFT, leading the innovation initiative. She recently spoke to Global Peace Film Festival about her 20-year journey in filmmaking.

READ MORE

Opinion: Hank Azaria apologized for playing Apu on ‘The Simpsons.’ I accept.

"As an Indian American actress, for me the shadow of Apu loomed larger in my life than I realized." NYWIFT Member Mellini Kantayya offers her take on the controversial "Simpsons" character - and subsequent fallout - in an insightful op-ed published in The Washington Post.

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php