Log In

Reset Password

If women ran the world...

First Prev 1 2 Next Last

As French director Emmanuel Itier travelled the world interviewing influential females as part of a documentary, he couldn’t stop thinking about those who’d impressed him here.

Former Premiers Dame Jennifer Smith and Dame Pamela Gordon are now featured in ‘Femme Women Healing the World’, alongside a host of powerful women including actress Sharon Stone, feminist Gloria Steinem, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and peace activist Maired Maguire. Local businesswoman Dawn Zuill serves as one of the film’s executive producers.

According to BIFF’s David O’Bierne, the inclusion of the Bermudians is typical of Mr Itier. Frequently described as an ambassador for the Island, he has also been instrumental in helping the Bermuda International Film Festival gain access to international documentaries.

The film will screen on Saturday at 6.30pm at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute as part of the 16th BIFF.

It examines whether a nurturing female approach, instead of the masculine tendency towards violence, could be the solution to improving global affairs.

Mrs Zuill helped facilitate the interviews with Dame Jennifer and Dame Pamela. She said they both deserved to be highlighted for the important role they played in business and community life on the Island.

“It had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the fact they are wonderful, successful women, who have done their part in the community,” she explained.

‘Femme — Women Healing the World’ was inspired by the documentary ‘The Invocation’, shot by Mr Itier in 2010.

That film featured interviews with iconic figures like Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and actor Mark Wahlberg, and explored the notions of how our traditional patriarchal system has created a system of violence and conflict in the world.

During filming for that, Mr Itier interviewed a host of female celebrities, who provided interesting, in-depth thoughts on how to handle world issues.

He thought it would be interesting to do a follow-up, asking women how they could “solve issues of war, misery and poverty”.

“The big difference between men and women is that men will try to solve the problem by taking a gun and shooting the other,” said Mr Itier, known for horror films like ‘Tell Me No Lies’ and ‘Scarecrow’. “Men have no patience, but that is how we are raised to be tough and fight back.

“We can’t cry, whine or show our feelings so we castrate all our feelings and it makes us monsters. That is why so many men are [experiencing] midlife crises because they are tormented and broken.

“But when women have an issue they don’t solve it with their fists or a gun, they solve it with caring, showing empathy, understanding and comprehension.”

What he also found is that males and females are very much alike when they are toddlers, but only through society and media are boys taught to be aggressive or tough.

Mr Itier has two sons, aged seven and 11 months. He said he tries to raise them differently from the norm.

When his older son has a problem, Mr Itier encourages him to express what’s going on. “I tell him ‘There’s nothing to wrong with crying. Daddy cries all the time and there’s nothing to be ashamed of’. I try to make him feel good about himself.”

Mr Itier started the process for this film five years ago and travelled the world to talk to women who were trying to transform and heal their communities.

“All in all it was 20 countries on five continents and we interviewed 500 women,” he said. “And in the end we couldn’t include everyone, but we featured 100 of the most thought-provoking women, who are politicians and peace activists, teachers and actresses. “

Though men seem to get intimidated by the film, he said they can learn a lot from it about women and their goals for world peace.

Mr Itier’s hope is that people leave the screening feeling mentally stimulated and uplifted.

“We can all get involved in life. We can’t wait for a saviour to come to rescue us. We have to save each other.”

He said his overall goal as a filmmaker is to try and make peace “one movie at a time”.

“I believe we are seven billion geniuses on planet Earth and that together, working together as one, we can heal the level of poverty, misery, war, even cure cancer and AIDS.

“We need to stop looking at each other as enemies and start to see our commonalities, our resources and our divineness. Gandhi [once] said: ‘There is no way to peace. Peace is the way’.

“It’s a state of mind to want to make the shift toward a better, more sustainable, peaceful planet and it’s up to us to make the change we want to see in the world.”

Said Mrs Zuill of the festival: “It’s very important. This festival is an open door to young Bermudians who aspire to be filmmakers, actors, [to] get involved in their community. If we don’t have a venue anymore [then they lose that]. This festival is struggling to stay alive.

“People should also come out to support the women who took their time [to speak]; not only the Bermudian women but also you can see on the screen countless other women and how they approach managing their business, lives and countries, and learn something from that.”

Bermuda Connection: Bermuda International Film Festival programming director David O’Bierne, and local businesswoman Dawn Zuill. Ms Zuill served as a producer for the film ‘Femme Women Healing the World’, which features more than 100 interviews with influential women from around the world and their thoughts on world peace. The film will screen at BUEI on Saturday at 6.30pm. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)
Star Power: Director Emmanuel Itier is pictured with Sharon Stone, one of the influential women whose views on world peace were given in the documentary ‘Femme Women Healing the World’.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 11, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm)

If women ran the world...

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon