ON SCREEN: A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan.
ON SCREEN: A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan.

Film shows why we need to pay attention to 'the feminine'

A NEW film touring Australia, called Amplify Her, is looking at the cultural rise of the feminine.

The film, by Canadian film-maker Ian Mackenzie, follows young women in the electronic music scene as they come-of-age amidst the emerging a cultural renaissance reconnected with 'the feminine'.

Mackenzie said the film counters the narrative that says that women are weak and need to be constantly supported.

"At large, there is a scene in the film where one of the characters is talking about how men are really good at linear strategy-based execution of projects and ideas, and that the feminine is often really helpful at seeing the bigger picture, the inter connections, and also being connected to their emotional landscape. That's one key ingredient that is missing from the culture at large right now," he said.

"This overly consumptive modern culture is chewing up the planet with no real sense of the consequence.

"I feel that bringing in the counsel of the feminine, being women connected to their intuitive place, is desperately needed.

"We need proper orientation to where we are going as a culture at large.

"On the dance floor, these women are creating these spaces where people can connect, but I also see it happening in other places, because there is a real need to come back to a balance," he said.

A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan.
A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan. Photo by http://www.kgoodphoto.c

The film-maker, who is in Australia touring the country with the film, said the project works in more than on level by showing the cultural shift on an artistic community that is, or should be, open to it.

"I like to call (the film) a bit of a trojan horse: in one hand, in the surface, it's a film about female DJs and producers sharing their story and how they found their own unique creative expression," he said.

"It's a biographical film in that way, but at the same time, the seed of the idea came from me sensing the collective rise of the feminine."

Mackenzie said the project is not a reaction to the current 'me too' campaign when women are demanding not just an end to sexual and physical harassment, but a more equitable treatment in society in general.

He said the crew say traces of that movement five years ago, when they started filming Amplify Her.

"It's not a surprise that the whole 'me too' thing has happened ands women's empowerment has really come up to the forefront," the director said.

"For us, it was like sensing that this was coming."

A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan.
A still from the 2017 film Amplify Her, directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan.

Asked why he chose to portray this cultural change towards the feminine via the electronic music culture and community, the film maker said he needed to find a subject that allowed him to personify this change, but instead of one he found a number of them.

21 of them to be exact.

"When I was trying to wrap my head around what the rise of the feminine means, it felt a bit 'new agey' or abstract," he said.

"I felt I wanted to ground this story with women and their actual lives.

"I felt that the electronic music festival scene is an edgier scene that is, in a way, a big ahead and it would allow me to express this idea from the artistic community.

It was not easy to convince these women to be subjects of the film, but they agreed as they realised it would benefit other women around the globe, said Mckenzie.

"There was an initial sense of hesitation by a lot of the women, because it's a lot to open up your life to cameras and follow you around in some vulnerable moments," he said.

"One of the women in the film was dealing with an illness who took her to hospital, and her willing to stay open was a great gift to us.

"Also other artists were captured in very vulnerable moments, so in one hand there was hesitation but in the other hand they understood of the importance of sharing their stories."

WARNING: MENTAL HEALTH THEMES AND STRONG LANGUAGE


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