Between My Flesh and the World’s Fingers – TRT 31:05
Mary MacLane, the Wild Woman of Butte, Montana, published her diaries in 1902 and 1917. As an out queer and proto-feminist at the turn of the century, MacLane became notorious upon the publication of her 1902 diary, I Await the Devil’s Coming. She was whisked away from the industrial hellscape of her copper mining Montana hometown to a life in the public eye as an author, journalist, female film pioneer and always a provocateur – sending up social norms throughout her career, with a special focus on staid notions about women and sexuality.
Between my flesh and the world’s fingers is an experimental essay and diary film primarily based on her published diaries and her film work. Though the film is not directly a personal film, the production is founded in part in the act of a woman telling her own story through that of another woman, a trailblazing figure from the past.
TALENA SANDERS makes moving image works that explore the development of individual and collective senses of identity in affinity groups. Her films and videos are informed by an interest in presenting the many ways that social institutions can shape individuals’ lives on both the broader geopolitical level and the most intimate, personal scales. A common starting point for developing new projects begins with an interest in interrogating narratives from histories and how historical records can influence senses of identity, especially as it relates to ideas of national and regional character.
She believes there are endless means to present and interrogate materials from the real on the spectrum from nonfiction to narrative production approaches. Her work often places historical found/archival footage and audio in dialogue with contemporary media captured on location to question constructs of privilege and power in who gets authorized to tell the story of a shared experience.
She holds an MFA from Duke University’s Experimental and Documentary Arts program and a BFA from the University of Kentucky. Her work has been screened, exhibited, and collected internationally, including at the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde, FID Marseille, Montreal International Documentary Festival, Fronteira Festival, Viennale, DokuFest Kosovo, BFI London Film Festival, and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Her first feature documentary, Liahona, is distributed by Documentary Educational Resources and Doc Alliance. She has previously taught film and video production and film studies at Duke University and the University of Montana. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Sonoma State University.