DONNA HARAWAY: STORY TELLING FOR EARTHLY SURVIVAL – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Watching this documentary is like sitting down with that friend we all have (If we are lucky) that’s genuinely brilliant, scholarly, and a bit of a trip. In fact Donna Haraway: Story Telling For Earthly Survival was directed by Fabrizio Terranova in an “I’m on an acid trip” kind of way. There are significant portions where Haraway is sitting in front of a green screen as her background changes perspectives and locations ever so subtly. There are even several times when a big beautiful jellyfish slowly appears behind her and gently floats up and away as she’s speaking unaware of the beast behind her. You’d think that it would be distracting, but instead, it just enhances her speaking on such diverse topics from capitalism to heteronormative relationships with the same ease that the jellyfish just floated by with.
This documentary is structured around a series of discussions on varying subjects while presenting Haraway in a playful and engaging study of her life, influences, and ideas. Just so you know, her ideas are big and have garnered her fame on her groundbreaking work on subjects such as gender, cyborgs, animals, and post-colonialism. It’s a remarkably diverse range of topics so easily explored by this brilliant thinker that comes across as someone you would really enjoy having a beer with to just listen to her talk. She actually made the history of orthodontic aesthetic surprisingly fascinating.
Her talking is the best part of the film. I wish there had been more screens where Haraway is just sharing her thoughts on humans and dogs or the need for new post-patriarchal narratives instead of the moody segue ways where we are watching light make shadows around her house with the sounds of nature all around. Or the unexplained art prints we’re shown, some with titles and others we are left to just wonder about, superimposed over a shot of the trees around her house. I’m sure they were meant to set the mood between talks, but they went on too long and dragged the film’s rhythm down.
This documentary Donna Haraway: Story Telling For Earthly Survival is an insightful look into the curious and nimble mind of this major contemporary figure. Haraway is able to boil down an impressive range of complex thoughts and theories and share them with her warmth and humor making them easier to digest. So, if you’re a big thinker or a fan of Haraway, then it’s your lucky day because this documentary is now out on VOD and Vimeo for you to enjoy. I give it a solid B rating.
Directed by Fabrizio Terranova
Selig Rating B
Running Time 1h 21min
Release VOD, Vimeo and DVD March 5th
Starring: Donna Haraway
Where people can find the film:
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.