Chicago's Own: Emotional Rescues

As these four films and videos remind us, many feminist filmmakers combine autobiography with social themes. In Amanda Christie's Learning to Drown two women correspond about their lives, and in Not One, Not Two, Saori Hoshi struggles to live as a lesbian in Thailand; both works cleverly use imagery, both illustrative and metaphoric, to accompany their voice-overs (in the former, ants represent maquiladora workers), but their reliance on speech forestalls any sort of cinematic rhythm. The other two are more effective: Anne E. Olson profiles a trio of historic activists in Selflessness, treating their heroism with some measure of playful irony (one story, set in the desert, is represented by toy animals in the sand), and Gui Garakot Prasartkul uses sparse but apparently personal imagery (a vacant swing, fragmentary footage of children playing) to balance substance and emptiness in Somewhere: Portraits of “the Other.” 84 min.

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