A LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SYMPOSIUM
"TRIBUTE TO WOMEN'S HISTORY" FILM SERIES
Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor
James Madison Memorial Building
with the "Resourceful Women" symposium, the
Library sponsored a free "Tribute to Women's
History" film series during the month of June
2003. This film series showcased the work
of some of the conference speakers, highlighted
the themes of the symposium, and featured
women directors and producers whose works
are in the Library's collections. Dates and
descriptions of the films shown appear below.
Tuesday, June 3, 2003
This evening examined women's pioneering
roles in the fields of nursing
and public health,
as well as attitudes about race
and changes within the profession
Forgotten Frontier highlights
the work of nurse-midwives who
traveled by horseback
to deliver babies and care for
the ill in rural Kentucky on the
eve of the Depression.
The documentary All
My Babies, which intimately
profiles African American midwives
in Georgia and their service
to their clients, was recently
added to the National Film Registry.
starring role in the television
was a pathbreaking one within
the entertainment industry.
Forgotten Frontier (Frontier Nursing Service, 1931).
Directed by Marvin Breckinridge.
All My Babies (Georgia Department of Health, 1953). Directed
by George Stoney.
Julia (20th Century-Fox TV, 1968). Starring Diahann Carroll,
with Lloyd Nolan, Marc Copage.
Tuesday, June 10,
In the first decades of the twentieth century,
thousands of black women migrated North seeking
and greater independence. Many
found employment as household workers (as
seen in Elizabeth Clark-Lewis's documentary Freedom
Bags); others in the beauty industry.
They had before them the true-life rags-to-riches
story of Mme.
C.J. Walker, the beauty culture entrepreneur
who parlayed her marketing wits and gumption
into a million-dollar business and became
toast of Harlem, and whose life is celebrated
in Two Dollars
and a Dream. Dreams of a different sort
were manifested in the work of journalist
and lecturer Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who electrified
the nation by confronting Jim-Crow racism
through her anti-lynching campaign, and by
the women and men of Passaic, N.J., many of
immigrants, who went out on strike to protest
working conditions in the textile industry.
Excerpts from two documentaries
examine those legacies.
Freedom Bags. Produced by Elizabeth Clark-Lewis
(1990). Directed by Stanley Nelson.
Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker (1988).
Directed by Stanley Nelson.
Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice (William Greaves,
Girls Winding Armatures (AM&B, 1904)
Passaic Textile Strike (International Workers Aid, 1926)
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
On the eve of the "Resourceful Women" symposium,
the Pickford Theater honored the history
of women directors with a special
showing of Lois Weber's recently restored
film from the Silent Era,
The Blot--a drama of class distinction.
Weber (1892-1939) was Universal
Studio's highest-paid director in 1916. The
film was accompanied for the Pickford audience
by pianist Ray Brubacher.
The Blot (Lois Weber Productions, 1921). Directed
by Lois Weber. With Philip Hubbard, Claire Windsor, Louis Calhern.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Capping the symposium events was an evening
devoted to the changing visions of beauty
and womanhood in America, as exemplified
Black is Beautiful cultural movement and the
complicated history of the Miss America
pageant. Director Lisa Ades introduced
For You...Black Woman (TWG, 1976).
Miss America (Orchard Films, 2002). Directed by Lisa Ades.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
The "Tribute to Women's History" film
series ended with the classic independent
film Salt of the Earth. Produced
by people on Hollywood's blacklist, this drama
is based on an actual miners' strike in New
Mexico. A close portrayal of relations in
an industrial working community and of union
organizing, it makes a strong feminist statement
as well, for it is the wives of the
striking miners who ultimately spearhead the
successful collective action.
Salt of the Earth (International Union of Mine,
Mill and Smelter Workers, 1954). Directed by Herbert J. Biberman.
With Will Geer, Rosaura Revueltas, Juan Chacón, David Wolfe.
Also of note in June, as part of the National Film
June 12, 2003
Based on a short story "Chinese Finale," by Norah Lofts,
Seven Women is a drama about women in an isolated American mission
on the Chinese-Mongolian border.
Seven Women. Directed by John Ford, 1965. With
Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyons, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson.
|The Mary Pickford Theater is located on
the third floor of the Library of Congress Madison building,
at 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., near the Capitol South Metro
stop on the blue or orange line, and the Union Station Metro
stop on the red line.
For more information on Mary
Pickford Theater films, please
see the Pickford
Theater Web site.
The Mary Pickford Theater film series are coordinated by
Picture and Television Reading
Room of the Library