To Be Silent is The Most Painful Part
TitleTo Be Silent is The Most Painful Part
DirectorCheryl Edwards
CountryUK
Year1985
Duration6mins
Format16mm, Umatic video
DescriptionExploring a woman's relationship with herself in the context of a male dominated, heterosexual society. Exposing roles, repression, ambiguities and possibilities...' (Cheryl Edwards) Using a metaphor of peeling skin, images from the film-maker's family history are combined with black and white images of famous paintings. A woman is seen being physically manipulated into each of the archetypal representations falling upon her skin. Each is an idealised image by a male artist, each carries the oppressive weight of patriarchal culture. After each 'sitting' the woman casts off this phantom image, just as elsewhere in the film her hands are seen tearing away layer upon layer of the suffocating accretion of the past. A film about language, culture and patriarchy.