Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.




Alan White

2006 DVD

This is a film about women in Los Angles, specifically the life of Hope(Heather Graham) who leaves Ohio with guitar in hand, intend on realizing her dream of becoming a Hollywood star. On the beach where she is sun bathing with all her hope and future yet to be realized she meets Will,(Jeremy Sisto) who upon first meeting breaks her resolve to never smoke again by offering her a cigarette which she accepts.

Although there have been many films about the Hollywood of today and yesterday, where young want-a -be stars convene to find a better life and eventually end up in some night time sleazy diner serving coffee and frivolous foods to the same lost souls that she now is, the non linear story line, the interweaving of the characters into a coherent mosaic was very successful It created an atmosphere of suspense and hope despite the dismal unraveling of events.

For me the most poignant moment was when Will comes into the diner with his gun drawn, seeking to recapture Hope. He is not exactly angry but he is determined to the point of being out of control. To save the customer's lives, Hope coaxes him away from the dining area into the back bathroom where she proceeds to have some form of sex with him

This moment when Hope uses her body to protect others, when she allows her faith in humanity to stay alive even in close contact with Will who is now an unabashed murderer, was a moment when this film went from the mundane to the profound.

It is rare for a film to present such a credible understanding of women.

A truly great film, a must see for those who want to know what we are all about.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

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