The 2004 Film Finishing Fund Winners:
Picture Me an Enemy
A 29-minute documentary by Nathalie Applewhite which tells the story of two women, a Serbo-Croat and a Bosnian Muslim who reach beyond their national identities to address universal questions of conflict, peace and forgiveness. Women Make Movies is the distributor of the film.
A one-hour documentary on two surrealist artist lesbians, Claudia Cahun and Marcel Moore, who set up an Anti-Nazi resistance movement on the Isle of Jersey during World War II. Filmmaker Barbara Hammer focuses on these two marginalized women whose stories involve politics, art and gender identity.
Stolen: The Search For The Lost Vermeer
This 96-minute documentary by Rebecca Dreyfus chronicles the story of the art theft from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston and the lengths that have been gone to in the recovery of the paintings.
Rene and I
As 6-year olds, Irene Hizme and her brother Rene were among the youngest twins to be experimented upon at Auschwitz by Dr. Josef Mengele in his quest to develop a master Aryan race. Zeva Oelbaum's 90-minute documentary tells Irene's story, that of a real survivor who creates a courageous life despite her war experiences and the multiple sclerosis, which has kept her in a wheelchair for the past 20 years.
Sisters Rena and Nadine Mundo were raised in one of the largest communes in the south by hippie parents, a Beverly Hills Caucasian woman and her Hispanic/African-American husband, as well as other commune members. The 90-minute documentary by Rena follows the sisters on a return to the commune for an investigation into their generation's reaction to the culture of avowed poverty, group marriage and psychedelic spirituality.
Janet Gardner's 55-minute documentary follows one woman's story from the time she left her native Buryat village in Siberia to succeed as a fashion model in Paris and around the world, and her subsequent return to her hometown to fight the negative conditions there such as alcoholism and domestic violence.
Rats and Bullies
Roberta McMillan's full-length documentary tells of the life and death of Dawn-Marie Wesley, a 14-year old girl from British Columbia, Canada who committed suicide on November 10, 2000 by hanging herself with the family's dog leash. Dawn-Marie left a suicide note naming three teenage girls who tormented and bullied her. The documentary deals with aggression among teenage girls, the events leading up to the suicide and the aftermath of the tragedy and its effect on the family, friends, community and the accused. The film contains interviews with Rosalind Weisman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabes."
Turtle Island Wars
Activists from four Native-American communities struggle against the hazards of environmental contamination of their individual lands in this 90-minute documentary by Lisa B. Thomas. Northern Cheyenne fight against coal-bed methane gas wells that threaten the air, water and soil of their reservation in Montana; the Alaskan G wich'in fight the oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the eastern Navajo Dineh fight uranium mining, which contaminates the only source of drinking water in their Crownpoint, New Mexico reservation; the Penobscot in Maine are concerned about the poisonous chemicals dumped in the Penobscot River by an upstream paper mill, killing and poisoning the fish population and the medicinal herbs surrounding the river, and the subsequent loss of the river as a recreational place.
Nic Bettauer's full-length narrative film explores the life of a dispossessed man and a duck, which adopts him as a mother as they travel west in search of fresh water and meaning in a world where neither of their lives are valued. The story takes place in 2009 as Los Angeles closes its last city park to the public, leaving both man and duck without a home.
Joyce To The World
An hour-long documentary by Fritzi Horstman celebrating James Joyce's Ulysses and the yearly phenomenon of Bloomsday on June 16, when Joyceans around the world celebrate the author and his works.