San Francisco Area Videoletter

A videoletter from San Francisco featuring interviews with elderly women about the Great Depression and footage of a performance by the Lilitheatre Collective.

00:02Copy video clip URL Title card: “they were there we are.” Voiceover: “This is a San Francisco Bay Area videoletter for January 1976.”

00:15Copy video clip URL Credits over Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On”: “Director, Jeanne Hawthorne. Writers-Producers, Sara Marsh, Agnes Williams.” Still photos of elderly women. 

00:56Copy video clip URL An elderly Black woman speaks about growing up in New York City during the Great Depression. “I wish they would treat senior citizens like … they were good ‘used-to-be’s.'” 

02:01Copy video clip URL An elderly white woman discusses growing up in the Great Depression in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

03:10Copy video clip URL An elderly white woman discusses there being “nothing but misery, the worst kind of misery” when she and her family had to survive during the Great Depression, and how things are “getting worse and worse.” 

03:36Copy video clip URL The woman from Nebraska compares the Great Depression to the economic problems of the 1970s. 

04:40Copy video clip URL The third woman explains why she thinks things are worse in 1976 than they were during the Great Depression. 

05:22Copy video clip URL The first woman discusses wanting there to be more consideration for poor people in America. 

05:56Copy video clip URL The woman from Nebraska asserts the need to restart the Civilian Conservation Corps to give young people jobs. She says that the CCC “saved a generation.”

06:53Copy video clip URL The third woman discusses the need to lower food prices, but also not wanting change.

08:07Copy video clip URL Close-up of a comic strip in which a mugger claims he is practicing “economic redistribution.” 

08:22Copy video clip URL The women share their thoughts on young people.

08:55Copy video clip URL The need for people in authority to treat senior citizens as human beings. 

09:30Copy video clip URL Onscreen text: “Lilitheatre.” Voiceover, accompanied by footage of the theater collective: “Lilitheatre, a woman’s theater collective comprising three East Bay women have been working together to create a personal statement about their lives from a feminist viewpoint. The group began with improvisations based upon their own experiences and developed a series of pieces including music, dance, poetry, and dialogue. The performance deals with issues such as parents, work, and sexuality. The creators and performers of Lilitheater are Terry Baum, Charlotte Colavin, and Shelley Fields. In mythology, Lilith was the first woman, created before Eve. As the original woman, she was expelled from the garden of Eden for refusing to bow to her husband’s will.”

10:25Copy video clip URL A scene from a Lilitheatre performance, a comedy skit about a girl getting her period for the first time. 

14:11Copy video clip URL A scene about the difficulties of getting a job and the demands placed on women in the workplace. Working at Avon, a make-up seller. 

23:14Copy video clip URL A scene about two female friends, one of whom wants to have a romantic relationship with the other.

29:50Copy video clip URL A monologue about masturbation and about “becoming the person I wanted to marry.” 

31:40Copy video clip URL Credits over a song about “celebrating women”: “Participants of Lilitheatre Collective: Terry Baum, Charlotte Colavin, Shelley Fields. Videotaped and edited by Janet Williams. With Technical Assistance from Sheila Kiernan, Sue Scott. A videotape by Just Us Women’s Video Collective.



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