Southern women's film!
April 21, 2011 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any recommendations for films, performance art pieces, or shorts with the subject matter of women's identity politics in the South?

I'm looking for a series of films, shorts, or performance art pieces that deal with women's identity politics in the South. So far the only thing that comes to mind is Steel Magnolias and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and I cannot think of really any performance artists whose work deals primarily with southern identity. Can anyone from Mefi help?
posted by _superconductor to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't seen either of the films you name, so I'm not crystal clear on how much of a dialectic on identity politics you're looking for, but you might try Eve's Bayou, Baby Doll, Ruby in Paradise, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, or Passion Fish.
posted by heatvision at 7:41 AM on April 21, 2011

It may be valuable to look at Southern artists who are women -- Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, the Quilters of Gees Bend (to name a small few). They've all inspired work that's probably what you're looking for.

I would also add Junebug & Fried Green Tomatoes to your movies (off the top of my head). And Secret Life of Bees, but I never saw the movie, just read the book.
posted by Kronur at 8:33 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Fugitive Kind (directed by Sidney Lumet and based on the Tennessee Williams' play) gets into this a bit.
posted by perhapses at 9:43 AM on April 21, 2011

The Help is coming out in theaters very soon.

The movie is based on a superbly-written book of the same name and addresses the civil rights movement in the South as experienced by the black maids and housekeepers (as well as the women who employ them, including the journalist who helps "The Help" tell their stories).

I found the book riveting. The author really delves into the nuts and bolts of the lives of the women, what they have had to endure and the sacrifices they have made to get by, and also the prejudice and hypocrisy of the upper classes towards the people who basically raised their children for them.
posted by misha at 10:03 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Southern Comfort leaps to mind. It's the story of Robert Eads, who was born a woman, identified as male and partly transitioned to a male body, and then died after all of the two dozen doctors he tried refused to provide any treatment when he got ovarian cancer. Harrowing but very worthwhile, focused on family structures and gender politics.
posted by sparrows at 10:42 AM on April 21, 2011

I'm not sure how strictly you want films to "deal with women's identity politics in the South," but The Man in the Moon comes to mind.
posted by bubukaba at 2:34 PM on April 21, 2011

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