Bobby Abate & Peggy Ahwesh
2004, 75 Minutes
CERTAIN WOMEN is based on the novel of the same name by populist Southern genre writer Erskine Caldwell (written in 1957). Caldwell´s ´pulp´ storytelling, proto-feminist stance and unabashed social dramatization are a distinct vision of the condition of women -- specifically working class women. There is little redemption in the tales of Erskine Caldwell, but there is over-the-top despair, social criticism and the reality of human wickedness.
Bobby Abate and Peggy Ahwesh shot in a variety of low-end video formats, including spy-cam, VHS and DV. The cast is comprised of non-professionals chosen by the directors for their unique personalities, stock character looks and on-screen magnetism. Both directors participated fully in all aspects of the video´s making including production design, cinematography, sound design and editing.
This cautionary tale of four heroic yet ordinary women is fashioned out of the past but relies on the filmmakers´ observations of the present historical moment and its political reality.