York University will host the Canadian premiere screening of a new feature-length documentary about Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the few professional women painters of 17th-century Italy.
The film A Woman Like That will be screened tonight in the Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross tonight from 6:30 to 9:15pm. Created by New York filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod, this documentary celebrates Gentileschi ‘s painting and her life. It also explores public responses to a recent major exhibition, held in Rome, New York City and St. Louis, devoted to her work and that of her father Orazio.
The film features an interview with Elizabeth Cohen, York professor of history, women’s studies and humanities in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
“Artemisia Gentileschi painted really dramatic and gutsy stuff, and has become one of the heroines of women’s history,” says Cohen. “As a young woman, Artemisia was raped by a colleague of her father’s and there is a trial record that documents her family situation and these events. This archival material is my research area and I speak about it in the film.”
But the film is more than historical, says Cohen, because it also represents in a beguiling way the strong and moving responses of modern students and museum visitors to Gentileschi’s work and story.
“The filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod, from New York, will be present,” says Cohen. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring Cohen, along with professors from the Departments of Women’s Studies, Film Studies, and Visual Arts.
A Woman Like That tracks the filmmaker’s journey to understand Artemisia Gentileschi in her own times and for 21st -century viewers. It features interviews with scholars and writers who brought the painters’ work to North American attention. Weissbrod also travels to Italy to talk with museum curators, art dealers and collectors of Gentileschi’s work.
The screening is free and open to the public.