There have been many filmmakers that have and indeed succeeded in changing world opinion on a wide variety of subjects. Whether many agree or not with the outcome, documentaries such as Super Size Me, Harlan County, USA and The Thin Blue Line were influential in changing opinions about the topics that were addressed in each of these seminal works. It is an ambitious and optimistic task to create and believe that a documentary can change hearts and minds. It is with this noble mission that producer and director, Emmanuel Itier and his collaborators have grabbed and honed with the documentary entitled, Femme: Women Healing the World.
Who is Emmanuel Itier? It is a question that was on my mind and the answer was a wonderful surprise! Emmanuel Itier is of average height, classicly handsome looks that one associates with men of French descent and has a wonderfully smashing personality that is instantly contagious. He is also an established film producer whose I.M.D.B. credits are impressive and extensive. Itier begins to fill in the blanks that this Examiner.com columnist was pondering. Emmanuel begins, "I'm from France as you can tell by the accent. The ladies like it, but the guys always think I am a clown! I have done movies for fifteen years mainly in the action and horror genre for the SyFy Channel. Movies like Scarecrow and the recent one called Atilla. I have also produced a lot of movies like Nine and a Half Weeks-Part 2 and The Dentist." A life changing event steered the director and producer to another avenue in the business. Itier explains with his usual self deprecating wit, "ten years ago I got remarried for the third time and yes I know I am a walking cliché as a French guy and all! I was finally able to get kids because previously I couldn't. When the first kid was born I thought as a director I have done crap-pointless entertainment! These stupid slasher movies and pointless entertainment have not made me rich, but it has paid for my living and not a great one." Emmanuel continues, "I wanted to make a difference and as a human being we all want to make a difference. As a filmmaker I thought the documentary would be a chance to make a statement about the state of the world and what we should do to make it a better world."
Emannuel Itier's documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World was spun off from a previous project that Itier had been a part of known as The Invocation. Emannuel illuminates, "The Invocation was a leap of faith that I took with a friend of mine. We decided to go around the world and interview people such as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra, Oliver Stone, Mark Wahlberg and a lot of other spiritual people. We asked them-who are we, what are we and what is God anyway? Is there someone coming to save us from all of the stupidity we have done for the last three or four thousand years? Are we going to take our own destiny in our hands?" An idea sparked in his head from this experience. Emmanuel expresses, "there is one thing we men didn't really take into consideration and that is the solution proposed by women. There is another way and that is not about all taking, conquering and killing. That is what we guys are raised with! When you are a boy if you whine and cry too much-your dad slaps you and says stop being a sissy! I generalize, but in a way it is generally how we are raised. We are raised with that burden that we have to find a solution to everything, we have to settle everything and we cannot fail. I think that is why most men have a mid-life crisis."
Femme: Women Healing the World was born out of Emmanuel Itier's concerns that a patriarchal society was not necessarily the correct one. Itier addresses this issue, "we are all born innocent and beautiful. We have to look at each other differently and try to articulate a healthy relationship in order to go to the next level. Imagine what we can do with our brains if we link our brains that fermented in a certain way with a women's-we could create amazing solutions to cancer and poverty."
The idea that the film industry may be beginning to embrace the notion of the woman as a super heroic figure is also on Emmanuel's mind. Itier addresses the film industry's recent exploration of the woman as a super heroic figure with his usual wit. Emmanuel speaks, "Hollywood is still ninety-nine percent controlled by men. I think secretively men would love a woman to save their ass! It is very sexy! I also think that two thirds of consumers today are women and that is why the industry is fostering this idea that women can take the lead, be sensitive and kick ass!"
There can be no doubt that being part of a screening where your film is shown to an audience is potentially nerve wracking experience. The filmmakers are ultimately at the mercy of the audience at any screening and it was this idea that Emmanuel Itier candidly spoke about during the interview. Itier reveals, "I think people have been coming out with an impulse to act and want to change themselves. I think this movie really kicks your butt and tells you that are better than that. I want to show people that they are f------g geniuses and brilliant. I don't believe in stupidity. Some of us don't have the opportunities and some of us are stuck. Life is hard!" Emmanuel underlines his message, "the movie is daring people to make a change. The movie is daring people to look at each other and say I love you. You say I love you to somebody, you can see that change. Try that and say I love you and you will see it works all the time because these words have power and embody life."
Emmanuel Itier speaks with the zeal of a true believer that art can change the environment and the opinions of many. Does this come from a man who is a true optimist? Emmanuel Itier has the final word on this very topic. Emmanuel concludes, "I am a super optimist in an unusual way. I am realistic too because I know these are sh---y times! Tonight I am very pessimistic if we keep the course of the direction we are going into. There are not enough of us fighting to change that course. If we let them lead us the way they are leading us which is that it is okay to take, rape, conquer and kill! We see that mentality. At the end I am an optimist because I see so many of us being fed up and waking up. We are joining forces and finding alternative ways of living. It is about being smart in the way we interact. Stand up, wake up and don't wait to be saved! Wake up, claim your life and save yourself!"
There are several ways interested parties can view Femme: Women Healing the World which is clearly stated on the website of the documentary. That being stated, this columnist highly recommends that you try to see it in a theater setting where the filmmakers are presenting the documentary. It will be one of the most entertaining and thought provoking experiences you could possibly hope for in such a venue. Emmanuel Itier's honest and impassioned plea for women and men alike is genuinely moving and contains bawdy moments of humor that matches the most seasoned of stand-up comedians. For further information of viewing platforms and theater presentations please follow the link below.