Thirty Years of Sisterhood

On the US tour of a Japanese documentary film by Yamagami Chieko and Seyama Noriko, "Thirty Years of Sisterhood: Women of the 1970s Women's Liberation Movement in Japan" in Feb. 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Message from Yamagami Chieko, filmmaker of 30 Years of Sisterhood

Although I have made only a small number of films, I think I have always been making documentaries for myself.

For me, making documentary films can be a means of asking what I am looking for.

I have always gained strength from the women in the women’s liberation movement. However, the libbers are considered in our society to be scary women. Of course, that is only the image of them created by the mass media.

I did not want women’s herstory to be recorded with such a mistaken image. I wanted to record the women’s liberation movement as I know it, as they really are. That was the starting point of the film 30 years of Sisterhood, a film about twelve libbers.

As the terminology changed from "women's liberation" to "feminism" and feminism spread widely, current society may have come to look free and equal on the surface. However, in the present day, oppression and discrimination against women, as well as against the weak, is becoming more convoluted. Under such circumstances, I sometime can't figure out exactly what I really want and what I am looking for.

By looking back on the herstories of twelve women’s libbers, I wanted to reconsider the roots of living in a way that was true to myself . In this confusing era, I wanted to gain the strength to survive as myself in my own unique way.

By seeing this film, I would like you to gain strength from these 12 women who have tried for the past 30 years to live in a way true to themselves and their own senses. I am pleased if this movie becomes a catalyst for discussing together what we, as women, really want.


  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think what you mention about the issues of oppression and discrimination ring particularily true. Today, as we see significant advances, it can be easy to overlook the problems that still exist. We are going to be watching the film in a class of mine, and I am looking forward to learning all about the movements and the empowered women that led them.


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