A showing of the newly released film “Tomboys!” will be followed by a talk by filmmaker Christian McEwen on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in 124 Hasbrouck.
The documentary film by McEwen and director Julie Akeret profiles tomboy subjects ranging in age from an articulate African-American middle schooler to 90-year-old "Granny D," who walked across the U.S. in support of campaign finance reform. It also includes Tracy Driscoll, 15-year veteran of the Northampton Fire Department and single mother, and lesbian artist Nancy Brooks Brody.
The film weaves together contemporary interviews with family photographs, home movies, and archival footage in order to explore each woman''s journey through time. In the course of this journey, the audience has a chance to question what "tomboy" can be said to mean, and how class, ethnicity and sexual orientation help shape our definitions. There are tales of tomboy tree-houses and secret dens; of girls who buck the still-prevailing stereotypes through the practice of basketball or martial arts; tales of women who always wanted to be boys, or who wanted not to be girls as "girls" are too often understood.
McEwen is an award-winning writer, editor, and teacher. The film "Tomboys!" is based on her anthology "Jo’s Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure, True Grit, and Real Life" (Beacon Press 1997). She is the editor of "The Alphabet of the Trees: A Guide to Nature Writing" "Naming the Waves: Contemporary Lesbian Poetry" and, with Sue
O’Sullivan, "Out the Other Side: Contemporary Lesbian Writing". Her stories, poems, and articles have appeared in Granta, The American Voice, Teachers & Writers Magazine, and numerous anthologies such as "Out of the Class Closet: Lesbians Speak;" and "My Mother’s Daughter: Stories by Women." She has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a Lambda Literary Award, and a Fund for Poetry Award, as well as fellowships at the Yaddo, Millay, and MacDowell Colonies, Cottages at Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She was educated at Kings College, Cambridge, and the University of California, Berkeley.