An Epic Poem
TitleAn Epic Poem
DirectorLezli-Ann Barrett
CountryUK
Year1982
Duration30mins
Format16mm, Umatic video
DescriptionAN EPIC POEM explores the contradictions in man's conception of love through the myths and representations, which support it, and argues that man has constructed love in his own image, reflecting his profound anxieties about prohibited desires. Deftly using poetry, archive material, allusions and re-enactment, it teases out the threads of past and present love and war to investigate those tensions usually hidden from our view. Central to the film is the 'Rokeby Venus', slashed by militant suffragette Mary Richardson. It becomes an entry to the 'historic' past but also to myth and the unconscious, its imagery developed and shifted in a series of tableau-like encounters between Aphrodite and Ares. 'The film looks back, not in order to find a lost women's history truer than prevailing male versions, but to provoke contradictions which allow us to question the past and its inevitability. It finds the past again in the present, in a new set of problems and contradictions.' (Pam Cook, Screen)