The concept of “Yours in Sisterhood” is simple: People read unpublished letters written to Ms. magazine between 1972 and 1980. These people live in the same towns from which the letters were originally sent. Information on the original senders beyond that postmark is unknown both to the readers and us.
Sometimes the readers simply read their letters; other times they muse on or respond to the words.
Director Irene Lusztig arranged for and filmed over 300 such readings in 32 states, and then winnowed them down to around two dozen.
Within the parameters that Lusztig has established, the documentary, screened last month at the Camden International Film Festival, finds many different ways to prod at and muse on feminism now versus in the 1970s.
Ms. magazine, with its pivotal role in second-wave feminism, exists here more as a symbol and jumping-off point. While some letters refer to specific articles in the magazine, we don’t hear their names or edition dates. Removed from that context, we have the conversations from various years instead of their referents, and those conversations are then mixed into today’s discourse around feminism.
In those meetings there are alternately affirmative demonstrations of how far society has come, dispiriting examples of how much some things haven’t changed, and striking contrasts in how the terms of certain issues have shifted.
Read the story at Hyperallergic.
Visit the “Yours in Sisterhood” website.
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