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Filmmaker to share film and process with students, community

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Filmmaker Irene Lusztig will be on the Bethel College campus Oct. 25-26 to visit with design students and show her film The Motherhood Archives.

The community is invited to the screening Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mantz Library Projection Room, which is located in the basement below the Mennonite Library & Archives. There is no charge. FemCore, Bethel’s feminist collective, and the Bethel Department of Visual Art and Design are co-sponsoring the showing.

Described as “a meditation on the medicalization and institutionalization of birth and motherhood in America,” The Motherhood Archives tells its story using medical films and maternal ephemera made throughout the 20th century and now buried in archives or sold on eBay.

Oct. 26, Lusztig, associate professor of film and digital media at the University of California-Santa Cruz, will visit with Bethel Introduction to Design students about her new film-in-process, Yours in Sisterhood.

Her current travels around the country to film this performative, participatory documentary project based on letters to Ms. magazine, 1972-1980, includes stops in Wichita, Lawrence and Kansas City, in addition to North Newton.

According to Lusztig’s website, the letters to Ms. were written by women, men and children of all ages, from all over the country (and beyond), and from across the spectrum of sexual orientation, religious, racial and ethnic background, physical ability, and political viewpoint.

“I find Irene’s archival process of mining historical evidence to create visual work just fascinating,” said Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel associate professor of visual art and design, “and am so pleased that it works into her filmmaking schedule to visit our campus and share her work with students and interested community members.”

Lusztig is an internationally exhibited, award-winning filmmaker, a media archaeologist and a visual artist. While her creative work extends across a range of moving-image forms (long-form cinema essay, web-based interactive projects, and – most recently – video for gallery and museum exhibition), in all of it, she maintains a strong connection to feminist historiography and archival practices, an investment in rigorous and sustained interdisciplinary research into her subject of inquiry, and a conviction that filmmaking itself can constitute a profound act of reframing, recuperating and reanimating forgotten or neglected histories.

Epp Buller and Lusztig are currently working on a publication together, along with artist Christa Donner.

Born in England to Romanian parents, Lusztig grew up in Boston and has lived in France, Italy, Romania, China and Russia. She received her B.A. in filmmaking and Chinese studies from Harvard University and completed her MFA in film and video at Bard College.

Her debut film, Reconstruction (2001), was recognized with a Boston Society of Film Critics Discovery Award and won Best Documentary at the New England Film Festival.

Lusztig’s work has been screened around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives in New York, Pacific Film Archive at the University of California-Berkeley, and IDFA Amsterdam, and on television in the United States, Europe and Taiwan. She is the recent recipient of a 2016 Rydell Fellowship for Visual Arts and a 2016–17 Fulbright Fellowship.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016–17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.