Programmed by Nicole Fernández Ferrer
A tribute to the North American pioneers of striptease and the golden age of burlesque coupled with a reflection on sex and gender. Today’s elderly women from modest families pose for photographer Marie Baronnet in their work clothes. They evoke their life on the roads, the stage, the struggle for their rights, the transformation of their bodies. These archival images give an idea of their lives and the glamour they embodied. It is also a collective memory of women who fought for their freedom.
These women, now aged 65 to 95, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds, often failing to become actresses, have found in striptease a glorious escape from the sordid clichés. These women with a magical aura, with a great power of fascination, are Self-Made Women with strong characters. As the director points out: “Make no mistake about it. Each of them is a true entrepreneur of the American dream. They have conquered their flesh and their independence, their gender and their economy, and they have paid a high price for it. That’s what makes them legends.”
Pioneers in their field, as well as in women’s empowerment, gender identity, and sexual orientation, they break with the norms of a patriarchal society. The interest of Marie Baronnet’s work is that it embraces the whole female gender to reveal its diversity and singularities through striptease, told here as “art in its own right”.
Nicole Fernández Ferrer
General Delegate of the Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir
with the help of Anne-Laure Berteau