Barbara Hammer, an internationally recognized film artist who has made eighty films and videos, is considered a pioneer of lesbian-feminist experimental cinema. Her trilogy of documentary film essays on lesbian and gay history—Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), and History Lessons (2000)—have received numerous awards. In 2000, she was honored with the Frameline Award for making a significant contribution to lesbian cinema.
At Radcliffe, Hammer will work on her latest project, a 16mm feature documentary film called Resisting Paradise. Shot in the Mediterranean fishing village of Cassis, the film contrasts the histories of four Resistance fighters with that of the painters Bonnard and Matisse, who continued to produce landscapes, portraits, and still life in this land of light and beauty even as the Nazis occupied France. Hammer’s film will challenge viewers to confront the question: How can art exist during a time of political crisis?
Hammer earned an MA in film at San Francisco State University and took courses in multimedia digital studies at the American Film Institute. Her most recent work focuses on global issues outside her community: Devotion: A Film About Ogawa Productions (2000) and My Babushka: Searching Ukrainian Identities (2001). Some of her films are included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.