What women see

The annual film festival at the Walker features contemporary achievements by female directors.

A still from “Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story” 
PHOTO COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER

A still from “Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story” PHOTO COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER

Mark Brenden

WHAT: Women with Vision 2010 WHEN: March 12-27 WHERE: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. ADMISSION: $8 ($6 for Walker members) or five films for $24 Cosmopolitan magazine recently did a piece in which they demonstrated 10 ways that women are better than men, using scientific evidence. Some examples included a superior capacity for surviving car accidents, investing, graduating college, seeking comfort and being âÄúrecession-proof.âÄù If âÄúWomen with Vision,âÄù the current film festival at the Walker Art Center, is any proof, our friends at Cosmo forgot to say âÄúmaking movies.âÄù The 17th annual international film festival focuses on womenâÄôs perspectives regarding global issues such as medieval Catholicism (âÄúVisionâÄù), Mexican generals (âÄúEl GeneralâÄù), the Arctic wilderness (âÄúBefore TomorrowâÄù), manifest destiny (âÄúOâÄôer the LandâÄù) and âÄô70s female rock âÄònâÄô roll (âÄúThe RunawaysâÄù). The festival also features two powerful documentaries, âÄúWoven from the LandâÄù and âÄúFritz: The Walter Mondale Story.âÄù In âÄúWoven from the Land,âÄù Director Teresa Konechne tells us about her homeland, the rolling plains of South Dakota, through serene original music and gorgeous storytelling as simple as the land it describes. Konechne originally sought to relate a story about her mother, but ended up telling us about our mother âÄî Mother Earth. The documentary features interviews with various South Dakotan women, both white and Native American. The topics they cover range from the complex sacredness of the SiouxâÄôs holy land to the phenomenon of rural drivers waving to each other to even its hushed genocidal past. Also in the film, South Dakotans explain why they felt a fleeting itch to leave the remote state. They wanted to make a mark on the world, but somehow the land called them back. From Al Gore calling him the most monumental vice president to his daughter saying heâÄôs the best dad on Earth, âÄúFritz: The Walter Mondale StoryâÄù has a lot of positive things to say about the Minnesota native and former vice president under Jimmy Carter. The documentary is put together masterfully by Director Melody Gilbert and narrated with charm by MondaleâÄôs daughter Eleanor Mondale. It plays as a quaint video scrapbook of one of MinnesotaâÄôs most prominent voices. Each of the films, real or fictional, holds an acute magnifying glass over the reality of its subject matter. Sure, Cosmo also said women were better at evolving âÄúhotter,âÄù but these directors are more concerned with making men know theyâÄôre moving in on a traditionally male-only territory: documenting history.