The Work of Judy Hoffman

A collection of footage from various projects by Judy Hoffman, covering the 1975 HSA Doctor's Strike, a 1991 Shedd Aquarium special exhibit tape on Kwakiutl salmon fishing, a 2003 war protest, and the 1998 An American Near Paris.

0:01Copy video clip URL Title card introducing the video and the first segment: “HSA Doctor’s Strike,” filmed in 1975 by Kartemquin Films.

0:09Copy video clip URL A narrator introduces the House Staff Association, or HSA, strike alongside black-and-white footage of Cook County medical staff marching.

0:43Copy video clip URL A demonstrator speaks to the assembled crowd on day 12 of the strike.

1:01Copy video clip URL Members of Cook County express support for the strike, explaining their reasons for doing so. “I know what they’re doing is for the best,” says one woman. “If they get better conditions then they can give the patients better conditions, which is better all the way around.”

2:16Copy video clip URL Robert Mann, a state legislator, also supports the strike, pointing out the hospital’s socioeconomic relevance as a hospital in an underprivileged area. 

3:03Copy video clip URL Title card introducing the following segment: “HSA Builds Community Support for the Strike.” A man speaks about his role in representing Latino views and how language barriers have affected medical care, calling for interpreters at Cook County Hospital.

3:43Copy video clip URL Title card introducing the following segment: “Kwakiutl Salmon Fishing,” from a 1991 Shedd Aquarium special exhibit tape. Footage of a commercial fishing boat plays. Roy Cranmer, an indigenous man, says, “Native people don’t have any special rights at this point in time, as far as commercial fishing is concerned,” before providing a walkthrough of the commercial fishing process.

5:20Copy video clip URL Cranmer introduces the Nimpkish River, speaking to its traditional role in the Nimpkish peoples’ lives and how commercial logging has changed the landscape.

6:02Copy video clip URL Title card introducing the following segment: footage from a 2003 war protest.

6:07Copy video clip URL In downtown Chicago, police officers don riot gear. Many ignore the camera and questions as they do so, though one answers that the protest is at “Federal Plaza, right down the block. They’re expecting about twenty thousand.”

6:46Copy video clip URL A police officer laughs and talks about his new shoes, his BDU, and his uniform. When asked about whether he has a bulletproof vest on underneath, he covers the camera and asks the videographers to not ask him. Video cuts out, resuming on a clip of him talking about why he’s at the protest. When asked about the line for disobedience, the officer tells Hoffman to turn off the camera, and Hoffman assents.

7:51Copy video clip URL Hoffman follows officers in riot gear as they walk to the site of the protest. A police officer asks if everyone has their “buddies,” to light laughter.

8:20Copy video clip URL In front of Alexander Calder’s Flamingo in Federal Plaza, demonstrators gather to protest against the war in Iraq. The camera passes over Flamingo, police officers walking through the scene, and shows a variety of posters as a voice speaks over a microphone. Two people wearing neon green safety vests reading “CLEANING UP AFTER CAPITALISM” walk through, “vacuuming” the ground. 

9:03Copy video clip URL The camera pans from the Chicago flag to a policeman standing behind a boxy black truck. 

9:09Copy video clip URL The camera zooms out from a close-up shot of a FOX microphone as a reporter conducts an interview. “If you talk to enough […] veterans about their personal experiences, they’ll tell you a lot of things that you probably haven’t heard from other sources before,” says a protester.

9:21Copy video clip URL Hoffman approaches a number of reporters, attempting to ask them their thoughts on the objectivity of the media’s war coverage, and whether propaganda plays a role in such coverage. Multiple do not comment, one snapping a photo of Hoffman. One reporter, Ben Bradley from Channel Seven, does comment, saying that the news is attempting to decide how extensively to cover the protest, based on attendance and what’s new about this protest. The camera follows Bradley as he walks away, cutting between protesters on one side and police officers lined up in full riot gear on the other.

11:03Copy video clip URL Two young children in matching outfits and pins saying “Peace” look around at the protest around them.

11:14Copy video clip URL Title card introducing the next segment: “An American Near Paris,” filmed in 1998.

11:20Copy video clip URL A song in French plays as quotes regarding gender roles and centering around women, first in French, then in English, appear on-screen first in French, then in English. First comes an Algerian expression, then a quote from Brillat-Savarin, a French Hero.

12:01Copy video clip URL Hoffman speaks about her day and upcoming plans, creating a video diary.

12:50Copy video clip URL Hoffman translates a French quote from Ben Bella, former president of Algeria, that appears on-screen, advocating for women’s rights. Hoffman then points out the similar-sounding le voile, meaning “veil,” and le viol, meaning “rape,” before asking Bella, in English, “Do you still believe that it’s the revolution that will protect us and not the veil?” Bella responds in the affirmative alongside footage from a women’s beauty and hair salon, saying, “The veil is simply a symbol,” and making a distinction between “women’s liberation” and “the liberation of Occidental women.” Bella ends by distinguishing the sense in which he believes in women’s liberation: “I’m for women’s liberation,” says Bella, “but not in an economic sense. A woman can work, but she can also not work. I don’t see how she can work when she has kids at home.” The video ends on another snippet from Hoffman’s video diary, lamenting her choice to go blonde. 



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