THE HERETICS, 91 min., NTSC 4:3, 2009
Synopsis: THE HERETICS uncovers the inside story of the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement for the first time in a feature film or video. Joan Braderman, director and narrator, follows her dream of becoming a filmmaker to New York City in 1971. By chance, she joins a feminist art collective at the epicenter of the 1970’s art world in lower Manhattan. In her first person account, THE HERETICS charts the history of a feminist collective from the inside out.
That group, the Heresies Collective, published: “HERESIES; A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics” from 1977-1992. Unlike more traditional “documentaries,” the film is framed with striking new digital motion graphics that extend the aesthetics of the magazine into the digital realm and onto the screen. THE HERETICS focuses on The Heresies Collective as a microcosm of the larger international women’s movement, in which thousands of small, private groups of women met together in forms unique to their own settings, to consider their situation — as women in a man’s world — and to devise strategies for unlocking the potential in women’s lives.
The hundreds of collective members, now scattered around the globe are accomplished artists, writers, architects, painters, filmmakers, designers, editors, curators, and teachers. Twenty-four of these women, speak intimately with the filmmaker about the extraordinary times they shared, challenging the terms of gender and power and re-imagining the lives of generations to come.
Designing expressive ways to layer images, we work with: text, animation, archival stills and footage, the magazine itself, completed artworks and art as it is being made on sites world-wide. We collage all these elements in a language that evokes the collective experience and the aesthetics of the magazine. The original soundtrack for THE HERETICS mirrors the “radical collage” aesthetic, mixing acoustic rock guitar, scat-singing, jazz piano and violin, made mainly by women.
1. Death of The Patriarchy by Mary Beth Edelson
2. Three Muses by Heresies Collective (altered by Joan Braderman)
3. Heresies Poster by Heresies Collective/from the collection of Mary Beth Edelson