A.R.M. Around Moscow

Jeanne C. Finley, Gretchen Stoeltje

1994 | 00:59:07 | Russia / United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Feminism, Humor

A.R.M. Around Moscow documents particpants in A.R.M. (American-Russian Matchmaking) to explore the relationship of personal power to domestic identity, and economic and political structure. Finley and Stoeltje followed 21 American men as they travelled to Russia to meet 500 local women. Each man was provided with a car, driver, translator, apartment, and meals for a "14-day tour of Russia's most beautiful and highly-educated women" at the cost of about $4,700. From the moment of their anxious arrival at the Moscow airport, and throughout their dances, dates, and tearful departures from their newly acquired fiancees, these American men repeatedly disparaged American women as "too feminist," "demanding," and most importantly, "lacking in traditional family values. The Russian women, exhausted from balancing their careers and domestic responsibilities, look to these men as a possible hope for a better life and mutual love.

“At its heart, A.R.M. Around Moscow is about a new U.S. export, the feminist backlash. Whereas the Russian women yearn for liberation from an uncertain future, the American men look to a past where they were armed for domination.”

—Steve Seid, American Cultures (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archives, 1994)

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Exhibitions + Festivals

Dallas Video Festival, 1994

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung