This film is about the generation of feminist media activism that preceded the #MeToo movement. From Halifax to Vancouver, from Nunavut to New Brunswick, feminist storytellers of the 1970’s and 80’s took hold of cutting-edge media technology to document everything from violence towards women to how to tune up your car.
You’ll hear from such filmmakers as Studio D’s Bonnie Klein (Vancouver); publishing and newspaper collectives like Press Gang (Vancouver), Women’s Press and Our Lives Black Women’s Newspaper(Toronto). The women behind the long-running St. John’s Women’s Film festival; the collectives that produced Dykes on Mikes (Montreal), Pink Antenna (Toronto) and a controversial lesbian radio show in Fredericton, will speak to the ways that news, films and music by women were disseminated. Zainub Verjee will tell the story of Canada’s first women of colour film festival, InVisible Colours; the women of Arnait Productions (Igloolik/Montreal) will describe their unique grassroots production process as the only women’s film production group in the North. Gripping archival footage, like that of the occupation of the (then-named) Department of Indian Affairs by Indigenous women (“100 Aboriginal Women”, 1980), or the storming of Eaton’s on IIWD (“No Small Change: The Story of the Eaton’s Strike” 1984), lead to the film’s climax: draconian cutbacks to women’s and lesbian organizations across Canada, alongside reverberations of the massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, December 1989.