Friday, July 14, 2006

Return of the goddess

Filmmakers celebrate with evening of performances

Mother and daughter filmmakers Lori Joyce and Candace Kearns bring Goddess Night to Ketchum.

For the Express

Filmmaker Lori Joyce and her daughter, Candace Kearns, of Idanha Films, will present Goddess Night at nexStage Theatre on Main Street in Ketchum, Sunday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m.

This evening of dance and performance will help raise money for the documentary film "All Sacred," which deals with goddess-worshipping cultures from pre-history to the present day. Performances during Goddess Night will include Hawaiian hula dancers, the Sun Valley Ballet School, Middle Eastern dancers, poetry and a comedy routine by Vanda's Quantum Comedy Show. Ten percent of proceeds will go to The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence, based in Hailey.

Originally from Tremonton, Utah, Joyce worked as a model in the fashion industry before hosting a television show in Dallas, Texas, and forming a film company with her husband, journalist Kell Kearns. In 20 years she has independently produced nine documentaries on topics including Sacajawea, Martin Luther King Jr., Ernest Hemingway, domestic violence, mental illness and the war in Nicaragua. Some of these films won national awards and continue to run on PBS and Idaho Public Television.

"All Sacred" deals with the discoveries of Lithuanian archeologist Marija Gimbutas, who found evidence of goddess-worshipping cultures in the Mediterranean dating back to 5,000 B.C.

"Gimbutas found vases, figurines and artwork which pointed to peaceful cultures, which held the feminine in high regard," said Joyce, who discovered Gimbutas while rediscovering her own feminine spirituality through joining in women's circles and attending Native American moon lodges. "She found no weapons to indicate violence within these cultures. I think there is a shift happening now, back to a balanced partnership between masculine and feminine. In 'All Sacred' we intend to show how the goddess cultures lived and how we shifted to more dominant and violent cultures of today."

Candace Kearns, 26, recently attended Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colo., and organized a similar Goddess Night there in March. She will continue to work with her mother to complete "All Sacred," which has collected 13 hours of footage so far, including interviews with Gimbutas, eco-feminist and author Dr. Vandana Shiva, and Hawaiian indigenous rights activist Susan Lloyd.

"If you listen to the news, all you hear about is the wars and destruction," said Kearns. "You never hear about how women are changing things in their communities. There are Samburu women in Kenya who have banded together to create 'violence-free zones.' There are women in Palestine and Israel who have put aside their differences because they are tired of watching their sons and brothers die."

Goddess Night in Boulder drew more men than women said Kearns. "It's Yin and Yang. We can't have one without the other."

Joyce and Kearns have made plans to interview other women leaders in the near future, including the president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, of Kenya.


Goddess Night

Tickets are $25, available at the nexStage box office (726-4857). Advance tickets are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum.

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