Two documentary films celebrate women and poetry at the December Schnitzer Cinema

The film screening features a Skype interview with Women Make Movies executive director Debra Zimmerman


EUGENE, Ore. -- (November 29, 2012) – In honor of the 40th anniversary of film distributor Women Make Films, Schnitzer Cinema features two of their latest releases, both addressing the work of courageous poets. On Wednesday, December 12, at 7 p.m., Schnitzer Cinema will screen “Poetry of Resilience “ and “The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima,”as well as feature a Skype dialogue with Women Make Movies executive director Debra Zimmerman. Admission is free and includes free popcorn and soda.


Released in 2011, “Poetry of Resilience” is a 40 minute documentary by Academy Award-nominated director Katja Esson about six international poets who individually survived Hiroshima, the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, the Kurdish Genocide in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Iranian Revolution. The six poets present a close-up perspective on political violence, and although each story is powerful, the film’s strength comes from its collective voice: the different political conflicts, cultures, genders, ages, races become one shared human narrative.


“The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima,” also released in 2011, is an impressionistic documentary about the life of this renowned poet, prose writer, playwright, teacher, and revolutionary activist.. Di Prima started writing at the age of seven and committed herself to a life of poetry at age fourteen. She ultimately became known as an important writer of the Beat movement and has continued writing, publishing and teaching. She was made Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2009. Now in her 70s, in rare intimate interviews, she talks about her life and work, looking back through more than 50 years of literary and cultural change. Much of the story is told through recorded readings of di Prima’s poetry, including a deeply moving version of “The Poetry Deal,” a reflection on her relationship with her art. Other poems featured in the film are “Rant;” “Song for Baby-O,” ”Unborn,” and “April Fool Birthday Poem for Grandpa.”


A Skype interview with Women Make Movies (WMM) executive director Debra Zimmerman completes the evening. Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies since 1983. During her tenure it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world, and its internationally recognized Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM programs have won prizes at the last five Sundance Film Festivals and been nominated or won Academy Awards in five of the last six years.


Established in 1972 to address the under representation and misrepresentation of women in the media industry, Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization that facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color.


 “Art and Language” is the theme of the Fall 2012 Schnitzer Cinema series, complementing current exhibitions Lesley Dill’s “Poetic Visions: From Shimmer to Sister Gertrude Morgan” and “Good Grief! A Selection of Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M Schulz’s PEANUTS.”


Schnitzer Cinema is brought to you in partnership with Cinema Pacific and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and curated by Richard Herskowitz, director of Cinema Pacific.



About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas, Europe, and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is the only academic museum in Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,

            Cinema Pacific,