Clotheslines
TitleClotheslines
DirectorRoberta Cantow
CountryUSA
Year1982
Duration33mins
Format16mm, Umatic video
DescriptionAffectionate and witty, CLOTHESLINES is on the one hand a documentary on laundry and a social portrait of an America literally strewn with clotheslines, and on the other an exploration of the wide range of responses that can exist within apparently shared experience - in this case, doing the washing. The film reflects on basic values and oral history. One woman, Louise, remembers:...'I used to hang them nice...you know, put them out in colours. I used to play games, make the line look good because I know them people were looking at my laundry...I knew it!' Another woman attests to how women who don't consider themselves artistic in fact put a great deal of themselves into their household tasks. Composed largely of tales and memories, the film combines poetic imagery with contemporary, historical and cross-cultural material. 'I was drawn to the image of clotheslines because I felt they were...at once a symbol of the unseen work of women and literally 'women's work' on public display. I wanted to describe not only the pain and isolation of that work, but some of the strengths and humour and wisdom as well.' (Roberta Cantow)