Les insoumuses – the disobedient muses: actress Delphine Seyrig and filmmaker Carole Roussopoulos. Coming together in the early 1970s, they formed a collective focusing on feminist issues and film. They staked their claim on the new and unexplored medium of video – filming with small, portable cameras – and began documenting protest marches, interrogating the role of women in society, and questioning the Hollywood status quo.
Making use of archived materials (the insoumuses later founded the Simone de Beauvoir Audiovisual Center, adding the preservation of footage of the women’s rights movement to their list of achievements) and interviews with the late Roussopoulos, Calisto McNulty creates an electrifying documentary that burns bright with relevance.
McNulty includes material the two insoumuses filmed to illustrate their various projects, including interviews from Shut Up and Be Pretty. In it they interrogate actresses in Hollywood and France – Jane Fonda and Maria Schneider among them – about their experience in front of the camera. Their answers illuminate the fact that not much has changed in the forty years since: there is still no equal gender representation in the film industry, and female directors continue to be a rarity.
Shining a light on the often ignored and forgotten feminism of French icon, Mc Nulty lets Seyrig speak for herself through interview material from the 70s and 80s. Seyrig speaks about the way her shifting awareness has influenced her career, taking roles in several female directed films, but also getting blacklisted by certain producers.
Delphine and Carole is an inspiring documentary showing what celebrity activism can achieve. Seyrig uses the platform her fame has allowed her to address women’s rights, including abortion and prostitution, much more frankly than most. She never wavers in her feminism, proving that she well deserves to be remembered for more than her iconic roles.
DIRECTOR: Callisto McNulty
WRITERS: Callisto McNulty, Alexandra Roussopoulos, Géronimo Roussopoulos
SYNOPSIS: Beginning in the 1970s, legendary actress Delphine Seyrig was active as a feminist, which meant taking the camera into her own hands. Along with Carole Roussopoulos, she was one of the first video activists in France.