A CONVERSATION WITH ELIZABETH'S FATHER 7min., color digital video, 2004.
"A Conversation with Elizabeth’s Father" (inspired in part by Grace Paley’s “A Conversation with My Father”) is a is a seven minute video that informally covers a range of topics from homophobia to writing to the death of a parent. An interview with lesbian novelist Elizabeth Stark’s seventy-seven-year-old father overlays a visual investigation of his house, as he faces the prospect of dying of lymphoma.
Throughout the “conversation,” both Chisholm & Stark struggle with their fathers’ mortality: Chisholm with the recent death of her father in a car accident and Stark with her father’s illness. In this way, the film interrogates whether anything can actually prepare us for the death of a parent while at the same time acknowledging the impact of such a loss.
During the conversation Dr. Lawrence Stark (former Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley) also comments on his daughter’s first novel, Shy Girl; the reactions of people with whom he’s discussed his daughter’s sexual identity; and his own struggle with homophobia.