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Sara Diamond

About the artist | Video clips | Printer friendly

Video still from <b>Ten Dollars or Nothing</b> by Sara Diamond

Sara Diamond, Ten Dollars or Nothing, (1989), 5:17 min. excerpt from the 12:00 min. original

Video still from <b>Fit to be Tied</b> by Sara Diamond

Sara Diamond, Fit to be Tied, (1995), 4:53 min. excerpt from the 24:25 min. original

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About these works

Ten Dollars or Nothing (1989)
Distributed by Vtape.

Ten Dollars or Nothing is the first part of Daughters Have Courage, Mothers Take Heart, a series of tapes about the 1930s in British Columbia. An experimental work, it centres on the voice of Josephine Charlie, a First Nations woman who worked for more than half a century in the coastal canneries of British Columbia. The voice of the narrator, speaking of the challenges and pleasures of coastal life, is contrasted with fragments of documents from the archives of industrial, anthropological, and government films. In Ten Dollars or Nothing, Diamond uses double layers of editing effects to suggest that there is more to memory than meets the eye: memory here is sensory, complex, and physical as well as ideological.

Ten Dollars or Nothing was broadcast on Vision TV (1992) and was included in Video Art Vidéo, a series of ten programs broadcast on La Chaîne/TV Ontario and on SCN (Saskatchewan's public broadcasting network) in 1993 and 1994.

Fit to be Tied (1995)
Distributed by Vtape.

This work explores rural and urban home life during the Depression, from the perspectives of housewives and domestic workers. In the piece, traces of past social movements, beliefs, and memories, have disappeared in the shifting architecture of daily life and the changing values of the present. The video uses dramatic suggestions, layered sound, audio and video interviews, radio clips, and a rich range of historical footage to evoke feelings of constraint and movement. Fit to be Tied demonstrates how women survived great hardship, finding ways to heal themselves and their communities through social activism, faith, and interdependence.

The video and film works of Sara Diamond blend narrative techniques-re-enactment, recollection, and direct statements from the public record-with a strong sense of political and social justice. Her commitment to bringing out background facts illuminating the often-untold stories of women from different periods of the twentieth century is coupled with the happy results of her intensive research into the pictorial record to make these stories come alive and resonate for us today. Always incisive, her stories resonate with historical truth, using quotation and the spoken word to great dramatic effect. Her proactive narratives reveal much about the underpinnings of contemporary society, and its potential-need-for ongoing change.

Fit to be Tied was co-produced with the Women's Television Network and the Canadian Independent Film Fund.

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