Belladonna. 1989. USA. Directed by Beth B. 11 min.
Co-directed with artist Ida Applebroog, this is a disturbing composite-drawing of the face of violence in our society, establishing its linkages to family, culture, and, ultimately, social organization. A number of somber talking heads frankly describe their most personal and perverse attitudes on sex, violence, and other family matters. The actors are reciting lines from horrifying but authentic texts drawn from the words of Joel Steinberg, the New York lawyer convicted of murdering his child in Greenwich Village; excerpts from Sigmund Freud’s essay “A Child Is Being Beaten”; and texts by survivors of Dr. Josef Mengele’s medical experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Stigmata. 1991. USA. Directed by Beth B. 38 min.
A confessional and emotional documentary about drug abuse and people caught in its repetitive cycles, Stigmata consists of six individuals of varying socio-economic backgrounds retracing their histories from childhood, through their dysfunctional family relationships and individual crises, all the way from addiction to recovery and revelations. Beth B re-enters these abusive and painful pasts, guiding the viewer through their struggle and reemergence in newly found hope, optimism, and confidence to continue their lives as much healthier individuals.
Out of Sight/Out of Mind. 1995. USA. Beth B. 6 min.
As an intense study of the physical, psychological, and social breakdown of the human condition, this documentary questions a system that has lost its aspiration to reform while employing the television-docudrama style of the late-20th century that drives our knowledge of accepted views of truth and morality. The video intercuts historical newsreel footage of bizarre daredevils with contemporary images of violence and television news footage about the real-life story of Eric Smith, a 13-year-old boy who killed a four-year-old child. He was tried as an adult and placed in prison instead of being put in a mental institution for treatment.
Thanatopsis. 1991. USA. Directed by Beth B. 11 min.
In collaboration with legendary Downtown performance artist/musician Lydia Lunch, Beth B creates a chilling yet poetic vision of despairing nihilism (literally, a “meditation on death”). In a hypnotic narrative, a beautiful young woman negotiates the banalities of life. In a mesmerizing voiceover that she composed, Lydia Lunch repeats, “Annie get your gun,” a warning of inevitable destruction.
Glowing Woman. 2022. USA. Directed by Beth B. 15 min.
Glowing Woman is a sonic and visual portrait of the iconic underground musician Little Annie. Based on Annie’s intimate writings and music, Glowing Woman explores the eternal search for connection and the universal pain behind heartache, yearning, and memory.