The Priest and the Pilot

A documentary about two women pursuing careers that had historically been entirely male: Jeannette Piccard, an Episcopalian priest, and Helen Jost, a helicopter pilot. A video produced by the Video Workshop of the Women's Interart Center in New York City.

00:38Copy video clip URL A woman discusses teaching First Grade, which she’d done for the past 28 years, and feeling that she didn’t have any real choice in her career. Other women discuss the lack of career options available to them. NOTE: there is some skipping in the video in this section. 

01:57Copy video clip URL Communion during am Episcopalian church service, with a female priest. Titles: “The Priest and the Pilot, Or What Do You Want to Be?”

02:25Copy video clip URL Audio interview with Jeannette Piccard about her early inclinations to become a priest, over footage of the communion. 

03:03Copy video clip URL Piccard, on screen, discusses her history in the church, as well as the church’s progress in granting rights to women (and the well-funded resistance to such reforms). 

04:08Copy video clip URL Pilot Helen Jost discusses being “the only female owner and operator of a helicopter service – I know in the United States, possibly in the world I don’t know.” She jokingly curtsies as she approaches and enters her helicopter. Her nickname, she says, is “Madame Butterfly,” and she talks about her mother’s resistance to the idea of her being a pilot. 

05:38Copy video clip URL Piccard talks about a conversation in college with Bryn Mawr’s president about Piccard wanting to “do something that was previously impossible… becoming a priest in the Episcopalian church” and receiving encouragement, with advice to study philosophy and psychology. “Oh! That may be QUITE possible by the time you graduate!” She discusses her marriage. 

07:04Copy video clip URL Jost discusses not being taken seriously and having her business undermined by misogynist competitors. 

07:52Copy video clip URL Piccard talks about a reluctant congregant who eventually came around to appreciate her. 

08:23Copy video clip URL Jost talks about enjoying the challenges of flying. 

08:50Copy video clip URL Interviews with women on the street about conflicts between marriage and careers, including one woman who thinks that being a lesbian has allowed her to “aim higher” in terms of her life and career. Jost discusses “being a career girl” and knowing that flying was her priority. 

10:57Copy video clip URL The prohibitive costs of becoming a pilot, and the difficulties of getting a job after obtaining the necessary training and qualifications, especially for women. The navy accepting and training women pilots. 

13:05Copy video clip URL Piccard discusses male insecurity and desire for male dominance driving discrimination against women priests. 

15:11Copy video clip URL Jost talks about wanting to meet Howard Hughes.

15:38Copy video clip URL Piccard muses on looking forward to becoming a full priest. 

16:19Copy video clip URL A woman talks about seeing other women being increasingly willing to take chances, and being inspired by them. 

16:38Copy video clip URL End credits, over footage of the videomakers: “A student project of a Women’s Interart Center video workshop. Betty Brown, Tracy Fitz, Ronnie Geist, Susan Goldstein, Margot Lewitin, Charity Paul, Ileane Rudolph, Barbara Slammer, Ann E. Volkes. Workshop Director, Susan Milano. Special thanks to Jeannette Piccard, Helen Jost, Alan Miller, Ms. Magazine, The Love Group, and to all the women who helped to make this tape possible.”

17:28Copy video clip URL A class photograph, with title card: “The Priest and the Pilot. Copyright 1973. Women’s Interart Center NYC.” 



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