Elisabeth Subrin’s Maria Schneider, 1983 (2022) and Pratibha Parmar’s My Name Is Andrea (2022) both use reenactment to reflect on their subjects (Maria Schneider and Andrea Dworkin), women whose artistic and political lives were highjacked by sexual assault. Subrin and Parmar deploy performance in unconventional ways, casting multiple actresses from diverse backgrounds, experimenting with temporal layering, and drawing on unconventional audiovisual archives. There is a core tension, in both projects, between the particularities of embodied experience and the pervasive narratives of violence, trauma, and misogyny that repeat across time. Yet these works use reenactment to reach markedly different conclusions about identity, history, and artistic praxis. Equally striking are the interventions each film makes into feminist history, fashioning explicit and distinct connections between the legacies of the women they depict and a fractious political present.
On Listening, Talking, and Silence: Reenactment as Feminist Praxis in Maria Schneider, 1983 and My Name Is Andrea
Amy Herzog is a professor of media studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her work has appeared in Feminist Media Histories, Discourse, Jump Cut, and Semiotic Review. She is the author of Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and co-editor, with Carol Vernallis and John Richardson, of The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Amy Herzog; On Listening, Talking, and Silence: Reenactment as Feminist Praxis in Maria Schneider, 1983 and My Name Is Andrea. Film Quarterly 1 September 2023; 77 (1): 13–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2023.77.1.13
Download citation file: