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Making The Film

Quilts in Women's Lives

Film by Pat Ferrero
Produced by Pat Ferrero
Cinematographer: James Culp
Sound: Tim Metzger
Editing: Jennifer Chinlund
Copyright: 1981, Ferrero Films
28 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1981
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Pat Ferrero or to the distributor, Quilt Complex (for home use).


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


This 15 minute excerpt includes the sections on artist/teacher Grace Earl, the artist and Bulgarian immigrant Radka Donnell, and the African American quilter Nora Lee Condra. The complete film includes the work of seven women and is available on a newly remastered DVD from The Quilt Complex (for home use) and from New Day Films (educational use).

Quilts was a ground breaking film used by folklorists, anthropologists and historians of art and womens history that presented the lives, art, work and philosophy of ordinary women in the days when few documentaries came from women filmmakers. This deceptively simple film won most of the major awards for independent films during the years after its release in 1981, including Emily Grand Prize, American Film Festival; 1st Place Fine Arts, San Francisco International Film Festival; Best of Festival, National Educational Film and Video Festival, New York International Film Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival.

"Of the seven women seen during the course of Quilts in Women's Lives, some are indeed painters using scraps of material for their medium, and they take traditional painterly attitudes toward their work. But over and above painting, quiltmaking develops into a metaphor of life itself. Quilts in Women's Lives is visual anthropology. It examines by implication quiltmaking as a system of communication, record-keeping and structuring principle. The film, like the quilts, embodies the reassuring care, the forgiving attention to detail and the fascination of detail and emerging pattern that animates the best of life itself."
--- Charles Shere for the Oakland Tribune.

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