2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act which allowed some women over the age of 30 to vote. It marked a significant moment when women became increasingly visible within public and political life.
To mark the year National Museums NI are celebrating the women in their collections through Hear Her Voice, an exciting year-long programme of exhibitions and events. They will be looking deeper into the women in their collections so to better represent their contribution to society and celebrate their often overlooked achievements. We’ve curated a selection of films which will be screened throughout the year in response to the Ulster Museum’s collection. The next film in the series is:
Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey
Sunday 4th November // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
Winner of the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Glasgow and the Best Feature Documentary prize at the Galway Film Fleadh, Lelia Doolan’s account of the tumultuous political career of Northern Irish activist and ‘speechifier’ Bernadette Devlin McAliskey atmospherically conveys the complex and volatile environment, both personal and political, in which she rose to power.
Benefiting from a wealth of highly-charged archive footage, particularly from the most thoroughly recorded period of Devlin’s career, when she was elected MP for Mid-Ulster in 1969 as a 21-year-old student, the historical material is interspersed with extracts from a series of more recent interviews.
Previous films in the series:
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Sunday 23rd September // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
An intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the 20th century, an enduring icon whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing and culture forever.
During her fifty year reign as the "Empress of Fashion," she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie O and coined some of fashion's most eloquent proverbs such as "the bikini is the biggest thing since the atom bomb." She was the fashion editor of HARPER'S BAZAAR where she worked for 25 years before becoming editor in chief of VOGUE followed by a remarkable stint at the Met's Costume Institute where she helped popularize its historical collections. The film was directed and produced by Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Diana’s granddaughter-in-law).
Hepworth, Hone and Riley
Sunday 9th September // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
An afternoon of three artistic documentary shorts celebrating women of the Ulster Museum art collection.
These short films provide a glimpse into the work of three talented artists Barbara Hepworth, Evie Hone and Bridget Riley. Anne Stewart, Senior Curator of Art, will give an introduction on these favourites from the Ulster Museum collection.
Figures in a Landscape, 17 mins, 1953
A poetic portrait of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the otherworldly Cornish landscape which inspired her.
Bridget Riley, 26 mins, 1979
This documentary emphasises the physical aspect of Riley’s paintings and their spatial and rhythmic optical effects through camera movements.
Hallowed Fire: The Art of Evie Hone, 13 mins, 1950
This short documentary about the renowned Irish cubist painter and stained glass artist was filmed at her Dublin studio in Marley Park in Rathfarnham in 1950, it explores the artist’s life, creative process and influences.
Sunday 4th March // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
Kicking off the season of films celebrating women, and their relationship to Ulster Museum collections, is Suffragette.
Inspired by the true story of the women who inspired the world. Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst. Suffragette is the first ever feature film to tell the inspirational story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement who risked everything in the fight for equality.
Women Art Revolution
Sunday 18th March // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
A film by Lynn Hershman Leeson reveals how the Feminist Art Movement transformed the art and culture of our times.
This documentary explores the slow but steady rise of the women's art community of the late 20th Century, which first blossomed when the Feminist Movement exploded in America during the 1960s and 1970s, thereby increasing cultural awareness of women artists.
Through archival footage and interviews, the stories of activists such as the Guerrilla Girls and performance artists like Yoko Ono and Judy Chicago are told. The documentary also touches on the gender politics of the art world.
Naila and the Uprising
Sunday 6th May // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a young woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family, and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh and a fierce community of women at the frontlines, whose stories weave through the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history – the First Intifada in the late 1980s.
Using evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, this film brings out of anonymity the courageous women activists who have remained on the margins of history -- until now. While most images of the First Intifada paint an incomplete picture of stone-throwing young men front and center, this film tells the story that history overlooked – of an unbending, nonviolent women’s movement at the head of Palestine’s struggle for freedom. Naila and the Uprising was made by the award-winning team, Just Vision, and directed by Julia Bacha.
She's Beautiful When She's Angry
Sunday 22nd July // 2pm // Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre
They said 'the personal is political' and made a revolution: in the bedroom, in the workplace, in all spheres of life. Called threatening by the FBI, yet ignored in many histories, these women changed the world. This inspiring look at the brilliant, outrageous women who spearheaded the women's movement resonates with those who still face gender inequality.
With introduction from Monica McWilliams.