The Heretics. 2009. USA. Written and directed by Joan Braderman

The Heretics reveals the inside story of Heresies, a feminist art collective that was at the epicenter of the 1970s art world in lower Manhattan. Director Joan Braderman, who joined the group in 1971 after moving to New York to become a filmmaker, charts the collective’s story for the first time in a feature-length film, revealing its pivotal role in the “second wave” of the Women’s Movement.

Unlike more traditional documentaries, the film is framed with striking digital motion graphics. Braderman combines intimate interviews with former collective members, archival footage from the 1970s, and documents of the collective—including the journal HERESIES: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, published from 1977 to 1992—to put the Heresies in the context of the larger second-wave movement, which was made up of thousands who met in small, private group settings to discuss issues and launch programs and actions relevant to women. The hundreds of Heresies members, now scattered around the globe and working as artists, writers, architects, painters, filmmakers, designers, editors, curators, and teachers, speak intimately about the extraordinary times they shared as they challenged the terms of gender and power and reimagined the lives of generations to come.

Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.

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