May’s Online Short explores the poetry, life philosophy, and musings on mortality by the 93-year old feminist poet Adrienne Wolfert.
Dir. Ellie Lobovits, United States, 2016, 5 min.
Q&A with director Ellie Lobovits
What inspired you to make this film?
Adrienne! The fact that Adrienne was a feminist poet at a time when white middle-class women were expected to just be housewives and mothers has always been inspiring to me. Aging is no joke and Adrienne is definitely challenged by it, but how many 93-year old women can put on lipstick so well and discuss poetry with the best of them?
What was your greatest challenge during the filmmaking process?
Balancing Adrienne’s experiences of mortality and frailty with her creativity and wit. Plus, she’s my great-aunt so I wanted to make a piece that was real, but also respectful.
Any thoughts you’d like to share about screening this film in a Jewish context?
Adrienne is Jewish. I’m Jewish. We’re both very at home in Jewish contexts.
What film/media has inspired you lately?
Field of Vision (fieldofvision.org) is putting out incredible short films about current political issues. I recently watched the documentary Cameraperson by Kirsten Johnson and was deeply inspired. And lastly, the show Brown Girls (browngirlswebseries.com) is wonderful.
What do you do when you’re not filmmaking?
When I’m not filmmaking you can find me doing such things as studying visual anthropology at San Francisco State, discussing feminist critical theory, resisting Trump, and growing gorgeous flowers in my garden.
Lastly, gefilte fish: delicious, or disgusting?
As a lover of many things from the old-world, especially ones that involved a bathtub and were traditionally made by women, I have to go with delicious. Especially when it’s fresh (i.e. not in a Rokeach or Manischewitz jar).