Eye Myth Film Fest 2019 Film

Eye Myth in Focus: Ms. Hart’s School for Young Women (Ella Freigang)

Only a watermelon after all. 

In her unabashedly feminist experimental film Ella Freigang (pronounced ‘fry’) explores questions of femininity, what it means to become a woman, and the expectations around being a feminine woman. Does being feminine mean you are married? Have a child? Is it because you bleed? Like many fine works of art  Ms. Hart’s School for Young Women asks these questions persistently without providing a straight answer. It invites us to query ourselves, to ask what we experience as ‘womanhood’, and where that comes from.

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Freigang’s film is divided into several distinct parts that track the coming of age of a young girl. She uses grapefruits and watermelons as effective stand-ins for the female organ(s) in a light-hearted yet pointed way.

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Of particular note is a scene where a woman (with the camera cutting her off at the neck) stands in a suburban driveway stroking an obviously fake baby bump. As she strokes her belly a male voice-over describes different states of child bearing and matrimony before her “belly” falls out and splats on the ground.

Only a watermelon after all.

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