Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who Does She Think She Is?

A documentary by Pamela Tanner Boll
Comments by Jolene McMaster
What is your view of woman’s societal role? How does your own struggle to create fit into your daily life? Do you have to choose to be either an artist or a wife and/or mother? Do you have to give up a professional career until your children are grown? I guarantee you’ll give some serious thoughts to your life as compared to the lives of those women featured in Pamela Tanner Boll’s documentary WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?.

If you missed the opportunity to attend the WIFT co-sponsored screening at Museum of Fine Arts Houston in May, then make a point to see this documentary at some point, even if you have to wait and purchase the DVD when made available to the public. It’s a well-conceived and beautifully executed documentary. Co-Director and Editor Nancy C. Kennedy was in attendance for the Q&A, and the reception following. Upon viewing it, you’ll be inspired by what you see, and you’ll want to watch this multiple times especially when you need the inspiration to go on with your journey toward a rewarding life that allows you the time to pursue creativity, if you measure fulfillment by something more than successful parenting.

Here’s the review written by Jeanette Catsoulis of “The New York Times:”
Five female artists explore the competing demands of muse and family in “Who Does She Think She Is?,” an engaging documentary about the struggle to create art while nurturing life. For Maye Torres, whose mountain home in New Mexico overflows with her paintings and sculptures, this has meant divorce, guilt and feeding her three sons on $24,000 a year. Janis Wunderlich, on the other hand, seems cheerfully adept at managing five children, a husband and a successful career as a sculptor. Only when we examine her fantastical, disturbing figures — often with rabbit ears and tiny, toothy creatures swarming over them — do we see explicit evidence of her internal conflict. Calmly directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, “Who Does She Think She Is?” is about answering the call to self-expression in the face of biological imperatives and cultural programming.
Though the documentary was written in support of women who can enjoy their children and their art without losing either, there’s something to be said for the artist who knows early in life where her or his passion lies, and can consider beforehand whether or not parenting might be best left to others.

The documentary’s Official Web Site is However, the press kit alone is worth preserving. It’s available for downloading at

Our thanks again to Ernie’s On Banks for providing the venue and snacks. Rick Haas, the owner, is film friendly. His place is great for wrap parties and other group gatherings, or just stop by for a cool one during these hot Houston summer days.

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