Would You Look at Her; How Does the New East Look at Its Women.


Coming directly from this year’s festival circuit, New East Cinema’s selection of shorts tracks the ways in which women’s lives are affected by Eastern state ideologies.

In the 20th century, Communism claimed that it had ‘solved the feminist problem’. In theory, all people were equal, and women, as men, were seen as tools of labour to serve the Party. But in the Soviet society, women remained just as marginalised – only that now they were expected to provide labour along with their patriarchal roles of housewives and mothers.

In the New East states today, prejudices of gender roles are still vital, both in society and the government. In those states, ‘would you look at her’ is a sentence uttered regularly. It is a disapproving sigh against female behaviour that somewhat contradicts societal expectations.

With this programme, we delve into the worlds of women who refuse to be framed with such prejudice. From arranged marriages to centuries-old patriarchal traditions, and the oppression of female desire.

Films in this Programme:

Would You Look At Her

Macedonia 2017 Dir Goran Stoevski

In the way she carries herself, 18-year-old Aneta barely differs from the boys. Because of this and an uncomfortable cell phone recording doing the rounds, she and her only friend are mocked as ‘lesbians’. Meanwhile, her family faces money troubles that force her to take on roles that will lead to further bullying.

Seide
Kazakhstan 2015 Dir Elnura Osmonalieva

Young Seide lives in a secluded Kyrgyz village with her family and her horse, her closest companion, before her parents announces that they have arranged a marriage for her. The impending marriage casts another terror – Seide’s family decides to kill her horse as part of a traditional wedding celebration.

Eight Images From The Life of Nastya Sokolova
Russia 2018 Dir Alina Kotova, Vladlena Sandu

One of the many overqualified Russian graduates who struggle to find a job after studying, Nastya is a qualified journalist who dreams of becoming an actress. With the surreal use of eight static shots, this unusual documentary is simultaneously an intimate window into a young woman’s world, and a symptomatic portrait of a whole generation.

Kalendar
Russia 2018 Dir Igor Poplauchin

Trapped in the normalcy of her everyday life, a middle aged woman temporarily escapes her ordinary life and embarks on a secret journey. Lying to her family, she covers her traces until she reaches her final destination – the centre of a woman’s innermost desires.

 

*This session has been locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Words by Teodosia Dobriyanova