Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The documentary "We are Still Standing-Stories of Women in Black" is about the largest international grass-roots women's ant-war group in the world.
78 backers pledged $10,242 to help bring this project to life.

About

We are Still Standing- Stories of Women in Black (Documentary Finishing Funds) project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$10,242

78

As a documentary filmmaker, after 9/11, when the war with Iraq had started, I felt that the voices of women for peace in the international community were not being heard. In 2001, a friend showed me an email from Ronnie Gilbert, of the Weavers and Pete Seeger, where she said … “For the second time in my life -- at least -- a group that I belong to is being investigated by the FBI. The first was the Weavers.” She was referring to Women in Black, an anti-war group that she stood with in California. I said to myself, this is the film that I want to do.

I contacted Gila Svirsky (one of the original members) in Jerusalem, and in 2002 I made my first trip to Israel and filmed the vigil in Paris Square, this particular vigil has existed since 1988. I met some of the original women, started researching the group, gathering archival material, and since 2002 I have been filming as many vigils that I can from around the world.

We Are Still Standing: The Stories of Women in Black is a documentary that profiles one of the most determined and far-reaching feminist movements for peace. Traveling to Jerusalem, New York, Palestine, Excelsior (Minnesota), Seattle, Belgrade, Spain, Italy and Colombia; the film opens a window into a reality not often depicted in the media – numbers of women (and men) working against the tide of nationalism, militarism and violence.

The film is in post-production and I am hoping to finally finish this important documentary. In November 2010 there is an annual conference of Women in Black in Columbia and I would love to show the film there and give them the opportunity to take it back to their home countries to inform the international community about this grassroots movement, which I believe is the largest peace movement in the world. The funds that I receive from the Kickstarter campaign will pay for the final edit, music rights, DVD creation and duplication.

Women in Black started in Israel in 1988, the response of a small group of Jewish women to the violence that was being wrongly inflicted on the Palestinian people. They wore black and held signs that read ‘End the Occupation.’ Stoically, they withstood beatings and verbal abuse, including being called “whores of Arafat,” “traitors” and worse. However, this did not deter the movement of women who spontaneously came to the streets and stood in public places in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-and other cities in Israel. Since then, Women in Black groups has spread to include chapters in nearly 50 countries, and they have held conferences and encounters in Jerusalem, Beijing, Serbia, Brussels, Florence and Spain. In 2001, Women in Black was awarded the Millennium Peace Prize for Women by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Women in Black in Israel/Palestine and former Yugoslavia were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Right Livelihood Award.

We are Still Standing- Stories of Women in Black builds its narrative around the stories of women who are representative of Women in Black activities around the world. The film will use these personal stories as jumping-off points to tell the larger story of Women in Black and its history, and give viewers a very direct experience of the flavor and atmosphere of the movement and its activities. The narrative of We are Still Standing is punctuated by many scenes of actual vigils -- from large, dramatic gatherings of hundreds of women, to a lone vigil by a Woman in Black outside a courthouse in Minnesota. These comprise a moving visual refrain in the narrative, and help convey the heart of the Women in Black phenomenon.

As it opens windows onto the outward activities of the Women in Black movement, We Are Still Standing also chronicles the remarkable personal transformations that women experience as a result of participating in the movement-- striking an effective balance between profiling the movement as a global phenomenon, and bringing the viewer inside the lives of some of its members-- from housewives unaccustomed to protest, domestic violence survivors, refugees, lesbians, feminists and Zionists, grandmothers to hippies-all stand together speaking a new feminist voice. These are a few of the women that I have filmed:

Gila Svirsky, since 1988, Gila has been standing on the Jerusalem vigil – every week for one hour – holding a sign that says “End the Occupation”. It was 22 years in 2010. She says, “I hope we don’t make it to 23”.

From Israel we travel to the former Yugoslavia and film the feminist and activist, Stasa Zajovic who, inspired by the Israeli women, founded Women in Black Belgrade in 1991. In Stasa’s words, “We love the streets, remain in the streets… we come out, think of new forms of political communication, new forms of ethics and aesthetics of feminism and antimilitarism... We want to go deeper into the causes of war and deal with more than its consequences.”

Jadranka is another member of Women in Black Belgrade. She recounts her horrifying experience of fleeing the city during the siege of Sarajevo, and like so many women, finding herself separated from her husband. In Belgrade, she discovered that the relatives she stayed with were Milosevic supporters. Outraged and traumatized by a world suddenly shot through with violence, Jadranka, who had been an ordinary housewife, joined the Women in Black movement. She is now an active organizer of the ongoing efforts to heal Sarajevo, and calls her commitment to political activism and feminism her “second life.”

From Belgrade the film travels to Italy, where the cameras capture the indefatigable Luisa Morgantini. Luisa is a former Vice-President of the European Parliament, but despite her demanding schedule she was so moved by the work of Women in Black that she founded a chapter in Rome in 1991. Now, there are hundreds of Women in Black members in an astonishing 18 cities across Italy.

We are Still Standing also works to contrast the images of violence in the media. Regardless of the many thousands of women participating in this worldwide movement, the activities of Women in Black are not considered particularly newsworthy. Just like the silent vigils that it depicts, We Are Still Standing uses the powerful medium of documentary film to convey the message that peace is more powerful than violence and that even in simple ways, people everywhere can participate in bringing it about.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    FRIEND OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT - Our sincerest gratitude and you get the satisfaction of knowing your small pledge has helped us get to our goal.

    Less
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    OLIVE BRANCH – an online thank you card plus a colorful and engaging Peace Sign Button that you can wear with pride.

    Less
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DOVE – an online Thank you card plus the Peace Sign Button, as well as a poster from an International Women in Black vigil.

    Less
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PEACE PILGRIM - all the above rewards plus a beautiful black tee-shirt emblazoned with the Women In Black International Movement’s logo.

    Less
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    MOTHER, LOVER - all the above rewards plus a digital download of the completed, We are Still Standing-Stories of Women in Black film.

    Less
    12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZEN - all the above rewards plus a DVD of the completed film signed by the Director.

    Less
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    GENDER WARRIOR- all the above rewards plus your name is listed in the credits under ‘Donors’. and a beautiful framed photo taken at one of the Woman In Black International vigils.

    Less
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ACTIVIST IN TRAINING - all the above rewards plus a special SURPRISE FEMINIST GIFT BAG designed to bring out the feminist in everyone and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Remember, you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. Anyone can be one…

    Less
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PLAZA de MAYO HERO or HEROINE - all the above rewards plus the signed DVD of Ellie’s award winning film “Waiting For Mercy- The Case Against Mohammed Hossain and Yassin Aref”.

    Less
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SUPERHERO FOR PEACE - all the above rewards and an upgrade in your credit listing to your name listed under ‘Special Thanks’ .

    Less
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    51 PERCENTER - all the above rewards plus an invitation to a screening of a rough cut of the film with the opportunity to provide feedback that the filmmakers will take into consideration (transportation and lodging not included) and dinner with our award-winning Film Editor who will tell you his favorite Martin Scorcese story.

    Less
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    YOU = PEACE - all the above rewards and titles plus a Skype conversation with one of the original founding members of the International Women in Black movement. Also an invitation to the Premiere Screening of the film in New York (transportation and lodging not included).

    Less
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    WORKING TOWARDS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE - all the above rewards and titles plus we will pay for your fees to the upcoming International Women in Black conference in Bogota, Columbia in November 2010. (transportation not included).

    Less
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE HAGAR ROUBLEV AWARD - all the above rewards and titles plus you will be given an Executive Producer credit in the head credits of the film.

    Less
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (90 days)