Quilts in Women's Lives and The Battle of Westlands
Quilts in Women's Lives
When San Francisco filmmaker (and S.F. State University professor) Pat Ferrero served as curator for the enthusiastically received 1976 exhibition “Quilts in Women's Lives” at the San Francisco Art Institute, she felt that seeing the one hundred and fifty craftspeople and their work was not enough. “When I listened to them, I knew I had to make a film.”
The result is a color documentary comprised of a series of portraits of traditional quilt-makers, ranging from a Mennonite woman living in Berkeley to a Black woman from Mississippi living in Marin County to a Bulgarian woman living in Cambridge, Mass. Great story-tellers all, the women reveal the importance of quilts in their lives and describe the extraordinary way they bring the materials and experiences of their daily lives to their quilts; how they learned the art and how they plan to pass it on; and how quilts function in their families and communities. Ferrero explores the unique cultural and geographic communities of each of the quilters, and films them working at home, in quilting bees and in the larger community of family, church and county fair, zeroing in on their individual methods, techniques and aspirations.
Quilts in Women's Lives received a standing ovation at its recent Castro Theater premiere, part of the S.F. International Film Festival's Bay Area Filmmakers Week.