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Grace Paley: Collected Shorts
Directed by
Lilly Rivlin

USA / 2009 / 74

East Coast Premiere

Screening Times and Venues:
10/01/2010, 7:30PM
Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/02/2010, 2_00PM
In the opening moments of “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts,” Paley rhetorically asks an audience, “What is the responsibility of a poet?” We soon learn that Gracy Paley answered that question emphatically throughout her entire life.

Lilly Rivlin’s inspiring film brings to life the momentous times in which this author and activist lived and worked as she reads from her short stories, poems and essays. Paley was a firebrand on the front line of protest. She opposed war and nuclear proliferation, and fought for the rights of women, which often landed her in jail. As a teacher she influences generations of writers. Grace Paley is a New York icon whose life attests to the possibility that one person can combine public responsibility with individual creativity. Paley not only broke the mold, she created a new approach to her life’s work that combined equal parts writer, activist, woman and mother.

In “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts” we learn the story of this child of Russian-Jewish immigrants, raised in New York City in the 1930s. We hear from her daughter, granddaughter and a wide range of fellow writers and activists. We also hear many of Grace Paley’s own words, the greatest joy of Rivlin’s revealing film. (David Becker)

Lilly Rivlin has spent the majority of her film career creating art about social issues, feminism, women's political activism and spiritual advancement. Her films include "Can You Hear Me," about Israeli and Palestinian women working together for peace in the Middle East; "The Tribe," a microcosm of the saga of Jewish history that documents the reunion of 2,500 family members in Jerusalem; "Miriam's Daughters," about the birth and growth of Jewish feminism; and "Gimme A Kiss," an exploration of the meaning of love as told through Rivlin's parents who, at the close of their lives, lay in hospital beds next to each other.

Rivlin was born in Jerusalem and came to the United States during WWII when her family settled in Washington, D.C. She went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree from George Washington University and a Master's Degree in International Relations and Indian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She has also written for "Newsweek," "Ms. Magazine" and "The Washington Post."

Cast/Featuring: Grace Paley
Producer(s): Lilly Rivlin, Margaret Murphy, Laura D'Antoni
Director(s): Lilly Rivlin
Cinematographer(s): Wolfgang Held
Editor(s): Pola Rapaport
Courtesy of: The National Center of Jewish Culture




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