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For the Record: The World Tribunal on Iraq

2007


A collectively made activist video, For the Record, reminds us that activists can do more than gather for weekend marches and sign online petitions. Given the will and the people-power, huge internationally relevant events that may well, down the line, provide the needed evidence to indict international criminals of the most egregious kind. Until then, this video is a document of the momentous culmination of a series of world tribunals held in 30 cities around the world, providing testimonials of the war crimes committed by the US and it’s allies in the war in Iraq. This culminating session was held in Istanbul in 2006. The video has been uploaded in sections on YouTube. Co-Directed by Alisa Lebow, Başak Ertür, Zeynep Dadak, and Enis Köstepen. Edited by Merve Kayan.

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Treyf

1998, 55 minutes, color, 16mm


TREYF —“unkosher” in Yiddish— is an unorthodox documentary by and about two Jewish lesbians who met and fell in love at a Passover “seder”. With personal narration, real and imagined educational films, and haunting imagery, filmmakers Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky examine the Jewish identity of their upbringings and its impact on their lives. Incisive cultural critics, astute, poignant, and poetic—never cynical—they weave their way from New York to Jerusalem in pursuit of a progressive, secular Jewish identity that draws from their childhood reminiscences as much as from their contemporary queer lives. As referenced in Alisa Lebow’s book First Person Jewish, TREYF is iconoclastic and intelligent, humorous and poignant, a personal journey from kibbutz summers to coming out, from keeping kosher to “Bat Mitzvahs.” A reflection on culture, community, and individual desire, this witty film follows the filmmakers as they discover what they thought was most profoundly “treyf” about their worldviews still has roots in Jewish history. Co-directed and produced by Cynthia Madansky. Broadcast on Sundance Channel.

What people have said:

“Courageous, angry, witty, and joyous, this docu-diary examines the construction of lesbian Jewish-American identities with unflinching honesty and considerable love.”
Linda Dittmar, Univ of MA, Boston

“Far more than autobiographical navel-gazing, this is a thoughtful exploration of contemporary Jewish identity—the Holocaust, religious practices and Israel—as well as how Jewish American lesbians of different ages and races live their lives with regard to family, homophobia, Judaism and anti-Semitism.”
Goldie Charles, The Jewish Week

Distributed by Women Make Movies.

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Internal Combustion

1995, 7.5 minutes


This experimental video breaks many the silences surrounding lesbians and AIDS. Interweaving the voices of two friends—an HIV+ Latina lesbian and an HIV- Jewish lesbian—the video juxtaposes two very different yet overlapping experiences.

The piece points to the often unspoken tensions occurring within this epidemic—survival and power, mourning and loss. Co-directed with Cynthia Madansky.

Distributed by Video Data Bank

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Outlaw

1994, 26 minutes, video


Leslie Feinberg (1949 –2014), a self-identified "gender outlaw" who has spent much of their life passing as a man, speaks with passion and intelligence about their experiences in this video manifesto. Raw and confrontational, this film asks its audience to examine their assumptions about the "nature" of gender and calls for more sensitivity and awareness of the human rights and the dignity of transgendered people. Feinberg is the author of STONE BUTCH BLUES (Firebrand), an account of a working-class lesbian who passes as a man.

What Kate Bornstein, transgender activist, author and performer extraordinaire, has said:
"Hard-hitting, straight from the heart, with an excellent sense of humor...It's a must see."
Kate Bornstein, Author, Gender Outlaw

Distributed in North America by Women Make Movies