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shirley: visions of reality

Gustav Deutsch | 2013 | O.V. English | Austria | 92min | color

Synopsis :

Thirteen of Edward Hopper’s paintings are brought to life in a film that tells the story of a woman whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations give us a glimpse into an era in American history. Shirley is an American woman in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and early ’60s who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. She doesn’t accept the reality of the Depression years, WWII, the McCarthy era, race conflicts and civil rights campaigns as given, but rather as generated and adjustable. Her work as an actress has familiarized her with the staging of reality, the questioning and shaping of it. As an actress, she doesn’t identify her purpose and future with solo success or stardom, but strives to give social potency to theatre as part of a collective. She cannot identify with the traditional role of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. She doesn’t compromise in moments of professional crisis and is not afraid to take on menial jobs to make a living. In a moment of private turmoil, she decides to stick with her partner and put her own professional interest on the back burner. She is infuriated by political repression yet not driven to despair, and has nothing but disdain for betrayal. Shirley is an attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman.