Saturday, September 08, 2012

Writing novels & making films about gender!

Hello! :-D

As many of you know, I have been writing a novel this summer about Pope Joan - the woman who in the 9th Century, disguised herself as a man and eventually became Pope. There is much debate whether Pope Joan really existed or whether she was a creation of post-reformation Protestants trying to ridicule the Catholic Church by saying that the institution of the Papacy was flawed and the fact that a woman made it to Pope proved this. (Personally, I think that a woman making it to Pope would be a great advertisement for the Catholic Church so that argument doesn't work for me!)

I do believe that Joan existed and like those who have written novels about her before me, I am fascinated by how she did it and all the questions about 'gender' that arise from considering how she lived as a man for over 20 years. 

But this is not the first time I have written about gender and examined the concept closely. In 2009, I wrote a short film script that challenged the idea of gender in an extreme but comedic manner. Whenever I talked to people about this script, they would be fascinated - it did not seem to matter how old they were, what religion or ethnicity they were or what sexuality - the idea for the film always provoked great interest and enthusiasm. So finally, in 2010-2011 I filmed and edited it. 

The film Caravan Sight is a comedy-drama with great characters who bring the debate to life in the most unexpected manner. Here is the film. I hope you enjoy it. 

I would love to get your feedback. Particularly those of you who are not from the UK - it will be of great interest to me to see whether the comedy works with a non-British audience! 

Very best wishes to you all

Rachel Dax

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