Double Burdens: Exposures & Expressions

Curated by: Dorota Lech

The failure of international and regional experts to predict the fall of communism in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe is undisputed. Meanwhile, behind the Iron Curtain, no one could foresee the brink of collapse better than the women who stood in daily food lines while holding down full-time jobs and acting as the primary caretakers for entire families and communities; the women who lived without sanitary napkins and medicine while dreaming of escape and better lives for their children.

On paper, women were equal in every respect, but this too was a fallacy, and it should be no surprise that most films made during this period were directed by men. While equally monitored and censored, women’s artistic expression persevered. The films in this series entitled Double Burdens: Exposures & Expressions are a testament to the audacity of their authors who met countless hurdles to manifest their visions onto screens. Drawing from their own lives, blurring the line between documentary and fiction, these films are full of messages, subtle and overt, giving us glimpses behind the curtain, where imaginations were borderless.

Their dreams realities represent our survival and the endless doors opened through art. I dedicate this series to the kaleidoscopic visions, daring and avant-garde, sometimes expository and other times absurd, by the women whose perseverance, strength, and talent gained them rare access and a coveted place in the vanguard of cinema history.