Projection de Je ne suis pas féministe, mais… le 29 mai et le 2 juin au Megabox Sinchon 7 au festival international de femmes de Séoul.
« I’m not feminist, but… » is an expression used by Christine Delphy during a TV program with Simone de Beauvoir in 1985. This is the ritual sentence numerous women have said one day, because they are afraid of using a stigmatized word, and yet are willing to express a desire for equality. Based on filmed interviews and footages, this documentary is a portrait of a feminist thinker, an activist and founder of the French Women’s liberation movement in 1970. It tells the history of a major figure of French feminism, putting emphasis on past and current struggles in order to achieve equality between men and women.
By Hwang Miyojo
A documentary on the life and thoughts of Christine DELPHY, a feminist sociologist who has been one of the key figures of the women’s liberation movement (MLF) in France since the late 1960s. This documentary is directed by Florence TISSOT and Sylvie TISSOT who are a feminist sociology and a filmmaker/film critic respectively. While looking back on how she got involved with the women’s liberation movement and on how the movement has been developed through the interview with Christine DELPHY and the footages from the 1970s and 1980s, this documentary approaches the staple ideas of Christine DELPHY’s academic work and the significant feminist issues – such as her point of view on the male-dominated French academic society, her advocating right to abortion, topics of women’s sexuality, LGBT rights and the multiculturalism debates – and gives us a joyful glimpse of legendary figures of Simone de BEAUVOIR, Monique WITTIG and Delphine SEYRIG during the most active days of the feminist movement. However, rather than these retrospective dialogues and footage, what this documentary seems to be more interested in is Christine DELPHY’s recent attention to the racism in France these days; she has participated in the protest against the controversial law that forbids wearing the Muslim scarf (hijab) at schools. She says that Islamphobia could get feminism confused between racism and being against patriarchy and that it seems a trend among feminists to attack ideologies rather than patriarchal structures. This resonates with the images of cheerful girls wearing headscarves in fashionable outfit and enjoying outdoor sports.
The ‘Polemics’ section aims to select the pending issues, screen the relevant films, and open a place for discussion. The main issue of this year is “feminism”. Feminist movement which began in the late 19th century has been often misunderstood as ‘dead’ or unfairly stigmatized. However, to challenge these misconceptions, there is a growing need for feminism worldwide. In Korea as well, feminism is re-emerging in response to the glass ceiling women are still facing, the poor working conditions for women, and the extreme cases about showing the hatred of women. One of the examples is the “#IAmAFemist” hashtag movement triggered as several men including KIM assumed to have joined IS openly revealed misogynistic attitudes toward feminists and women.
This hashtag movement focusing on “I” as an active agent shows respect for various contexts and types of feminism as well as strong will to challenge the unfair stigma attached to the feminist label. Meanwhile, hashtag (#) works to promote solidarity by connecting these “I”s through social media network. In response to this phenomenon, this year’s ‘Polemics’ consists of films categorized under four themes: women’s labor (Cart, Women’s Day, and The emotional society on stage), celebrity feminism (Mammas), global feminism (I Am Femen, Feminists Insha’allah! The story of Arab feminism, and B for Boy), and finally, media and freedom of expression (Free the Nipple).
In addition, the following films, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Feminists Insha’allah! The story of Arab feminism, and I’m not feminist, but… will broaden our understanding of feminism itself, approaching the history of feminism from multiple perspectives. These selected films are easy to approach, which will work to bridge the gap between the general public and feminism and let us share the moment of joy, anger, and tears. So, please join us to freely discuss feminism.
CHO Hye-Young / Programmer
SEOUL International Women’s Film Festival