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ReFocus: The Films of Kelly Reichardt$
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E. Dawn Hall

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411127

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411127.001.0001

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Breakthrough: Wendy and Lucy

Breakthrough: Wendy and Lucy

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter 6 Breakthrough: Wendy and Lucy
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Kelly Reichardt
Author(s):

E. Dawn Hall

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411127.003.0006

This chapter is a close reading of Wendy and Lucy, a film loosely based on the depictions of disaster victims and the perceived governmental failing to provide and protect those affected by Hurricane Katrina. It is Reichardt’s political statement about being homeless and female in America. Highlighting distribution details, the chapter explores the necessity of a micro-budget that dictate and contribute to many independent filmmakers’ aesthetics. The chapter discusses her use of “slow cinema,” ecofeminism, and the rejection of a capitalistic and patriarchal “American Dream.” Reichardt highlights the overlooked or marginalized in America: women, the working classes, and the poverty stricken. Influenced by the Italian Neorealists of the 1940s, the film addresses current issues of poverty juxtaposed with consumerism in America. Finally building on work of Anita Harris and Sherry Ortner’s analysis of lower class women’s representation in independent film, the chapter situates Wendy and Lucy in relation to post-feminist and third wave feminist concerns.

Keywords:   Wendy and Lucy, Disaster, Ecofeminism, Italian Neorealist, American Dream, Post-feminism, Micro-budget, Capitalism, Homeless, Slow cinema

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