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ON SCREEN
THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE
Friday, April 4 @ Angelika
Saturday, April 5 @ Angelika
NOBLE
Friday, April 4 @ Angelika
Wednesday, April 9 @ Angelika
PRIVATE VIOLENCE
Saturday, April 5 @ Angelika
Sunday, April 6 @ Angelika

by Holly Wright
DIFF Writer

Susan Polis Schutz said, “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly”. Nowhere is this better emphasized than in three of the films that will be screening at the Dallas International Film Festival this week.

In director John Wildman’s THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE, women certainly know what they want to do and do it well. While working as strippers, they have the power to choose who they dance for and who they don’t. In their house, they choose who they kill and who they play with like cats with a mouse. In this sense, Wildman has given the horror genre a post-feminist spin.

THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE

THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE

“People don’t see the theme immediately,” he says, “but by the end of it, you have something that leaves with you that you want to go debate.” While women are usually portrayed as the victims in horror films, The Ladies of the House are not the prey. The film offers us a fascinating new look on the family structure. The “ladies” played by Farah White, Melodie Sisk, Brina Palencia, and Michelle Sinclair, are most definitely a family that believes in protecting their loved ones on a whole new level.

Then we have NOBLE, one of those rare films that introduce us to someone we may not have known existed despite their outstanding contributions to the world. Starring Deirdre O’Kane and written and directed by her husband, Stephen Bradley, NOBLE is based on the true story of Christina Noble, an astonishing woman who grew up an orphan in the streets of Ireland. Through her faith in God, she becomes a defender of the abandoned children (also known as the bui doi or “dust of life”) in Saigon. Her character is a powerful female lead that doesn’t wallow in self pity but rather turns her experience into empathy for a forgotten group of children; those orphaned by the Vietnam War. Christina is a woman who took the power to control her own life and not only made her life happy, but positively changed the lives of over 700,000 children.

NOBLE

NOBLE

In PRIVATE VIOLENCE, Cynthia Hill follows Kit Gruelle, a domestic violence survivor who has worked as an advocate for battered women and their children for over 24 years. The film allows us to meet Deanna – a woman kidnapped by her estranged husband and beaten for 4 days — and accompany her in her journey to rebuild her life. Kit has also collaborated with law enforcement for many years educating and training them on hostage negotiations. According to Kit, “70% of hostage situations are usually domestic violence related”. Therefore, her goal as a director is to use the film to educate the public as to what domestic violence really looks like behind those closed doors and how can you, as a first responder handle that type of situation, look instead of looking away.

“Why do people always ask “why doesn’t she leave?” PRIVATE VIOLENCE asks. “we don’t ask other victims of crimes that question.” Outside of this film, Kit is also teaming up with Leslie Morgan Steiner, herself a domestic violence survivor who gained notoriety through working with TEDx. Together, Kit and Leslie both seek to “reconstruct the discussion of why women stay and celebrate the strength and courage that all battered women have”.
Maya Angelou says that “a wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” Catch any one of these films to see some very wise women indeed.

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