“I never give my real self. I have a hundred sides, and I turn first one way and then the other. I am playing a deep game.”
Mary MacLane, the Wild Woman of Butte, Montana, published her diaries in 1902 and 1917. As an out bisexual and proto-feminist at the turn of the century, MacLane became notorious upon the publication of her 1902 diary, I Await the Devil’s Coming. She was whisked away from the industrial hellscape of her copper mining Montana hometown to a life in the public eye as an author, journalist, female film pioneer and always a provocateur - sending up social norms throughout her career, with a special focus on staid notions about women and sexuality.
Between my flesh and the world’s fingers is an experimental essay and diary film primarily based on her published diaries and her film work. Throughout the past two years living in Montana, I have created and gathered the elements for this short experimental film. As a female filmmaker working in Montana, I strongly identified both with her life’s work, and her experiences navigating a pervasive masculinity that seemed to underpin so many facets of both of our lives in that state. Though the film is not directly a personal film, the production is founded in part in the act of a woman telling her own story through that of another woman, a richly intriguing, trailblazing figure from the past.