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Five Feminist Minutes

Directed by Marie Annharte Baker, Kim Blain, Lorna Boschman, Christene Browne, Alison Burns, Janis Cole, Shawna Dempsey, Ann Marie Fleming, Angele Gagnon, Gwendolyn, Jennifer Kawaja, Sook-Yin Lee, Frances Leeming, Mary Lewis, Catherine Anne Martin, Michelle Mohabeer, Elaine Pain, Andrée Pelletier, Cathy Quinn, and Tracey- Traeger
Canada, 1990 (114 minutes)
Five Feminist Minutes
Image: © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"Compilation of 16 films on feminist issues made by independent Canadian women filmmakers. Titles:
No Choice [Christene Browne]: Abortion and how it relates to women living in poverty (6 min.);
Exposure [Michelle Mohabeer]: A dialogue between a Japanese Canadian and an African Caribbean is intercut with images and writings of women on the issues of racism, homophobia, colonization and imperialism (8 min.);
A Letter from Violet [Elaine Pain]: Dedicated to the memory of Violet McNaughton, a Saskatchewan woman who was instrumental in women getting the vote in the province in 1916 (5 min. 12 sec.);
New Shoes: An Interview in Exactly Five Minutes [Ann Marie Fleming]: The nature of documentary and the relationship between traditional romance and violence against women (5 min.);
Escapades of the One Particular Mr. Noodle [Sook-Yin Lee]: A first generation Chinese-Canadian's attempt to fit into the white, middle class suburb of Lynn Valley, British Columbia (10 min. 52 sec);
Come Into My Parlour [Mary Lewis]: The story of the filmmaker's first driving lesson (5 min. 11 sec.);
Shaggie - Letters from Prison [Janis Cole]: Through the use of personal letters, the filmmaker constructs a memory of her friend who was incarcerated at the age of thirteen and ended her life at the Prison for Women twenty years later (12 min.);
Prowling by Night [Gwendolyn]: In their own words using cut out animation, sex workers tell their stories (11 min.);
Too Tough [Marie Annharte Baker]: Produced and directed by Anishnabe poet Marie Annharte Baker, her poetry about urban Indigenous women's experience is read by Okanagan Syilx writer and activist Jeannette Armstrong (5 min.);
We're Talking Vulva [Shawna Dempsey & Tracey Traeger]: A performance piece about female genitalia done in a rap music video style (5 min. 20 sec.);
Family Secrets [Lorna Boschman & Kim Blain]: Childhood memories of a girl and her grandfather fishing on a lake become frightening when she recalls that she was sexually abused (6 min.);
Minqon Minqon: Wosqotomn Elsonwagon (Shirley Bear: Reclaiming the Balance of Power) [Catherine Anne Martin]: Shirley Bear is a Malecite painter living in New Brunswick who reinterprets the ancient Malecite way of life (6 min. 45 sec.);
Let's Rap [Alison Burns]: Women of a variety of ages and ethnic groups who have adopted rap music to express their view of the world (5 min. 30 sec.);
The Untilled Story [Cathy Quinn & Frances Leeming]: An analogy of women as flowers who need nurturing by positive female role models (5 min.);
Rhea [Angele Gagnon & Jennifer Kawaja]: As faces speak names, all names come to denote a commonality (6 min. 50 sec.); and
Petit drame dans la vie d'une femme [Andrée Pelletier]: Rebecca locks herself in the bathroom when she gets her first period. A French language film (6 min. 26 sec.)."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Produced by: Mary Armstrong, Nicole Hubert
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
(sources)

Quote about Five Feminist Minutes

"The call went out to women filmmakers across Canada, inviting proposals for 'snapshots of the world from a feminist perspective.' Successful applicants would each get five rolls of film, ten thousand dollars—and full creative freedom within the five-minute confines of the project. Lack of experience would not be an obstacle. Hundreds of applications poured in, and over one intense weekend the jury convened at the Banff Centre to make a final selection of sixteen projects. The result was Five Feminist Minutes, a groundbreaking and wide-ranging program of shorts that included agitprop animation from a Toronto sex-trade advocate, a comic evocation of a Chinese-Canadian girlhood, a body-positive music video called We're Talking Vulva and thirteen other titles. Released in 1990 as a feature-length program, Five Feminist Minutes circulated widely, bringing a host of new cinematic storytellers to the fore, many from communities where filmmaking opportunities were scarce or non-existent, and helping to launch or advance the careers of indie director Ann Marie Fleming, filmmaker/broadcaster Sook Yin Lee, performance artist Shawna Dempsey and others."
-- Philip Lewis (source)

Bibliography for Five Feminist Minutes

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