Husband and Wife

Digital or visual media

Hawkins, Matthew and Hawkins, Marta Husband and Wife.
CreatorsHawkins, Matthew and Hawkins, Marta

Husband and Wife (Hawkins and Hawkins, 2018) is an experimental documentary concerning one woman’s journey from Poland to London, England to reclaim the body and the dignity of her husband after his death. It is a woman’s journey from the space of the family home (oikos) to the space of politics (polis) and back. In this film the authors explore this journey as a physical movement of the protagonist in front of the camera and as the relationship between gender, creativity and (bio)politics of life. The film we draws upon the literary figure of Antigone from Sophocles’ play (1998: 400-300BC), which we bring here to reflect on female agency in patriarchal society and to engage with the feminist interpretation of Antigone’s resistance in relation to the protagonist’s journey through London.

In order to articulate the relationship between filmmaking, Beata’s journey and the authors/directors, we have developed a concept of ‘filmiation’. Filmation is a physical space and a process which is framed within three sides: the camera, the people and life. The camera is an instrument that captures action but also instigates the performance of our protagonist and our own performance as researchers and filmmakers. The people are the researchers/filmmakers, our protagonist and all other people involved in the investigation of her husband’s death.

The film mobilises the work of Lucy Bolton in her monograph, Film and Female Consciousness (2011) in order to explore notions of a feminist documentary cinema, with a focus on consciousness and interiority. Bolton explains this approach in her book where she analyses similarities in films by Lynne Ramsay, Jane Campion and Sofia Copola. Inspired by Luce Irigaray’s conceptualisation of female consciousness, Bolton (2011: 3) finds out that these directors concentrate on the ‘interiority’ of the female characters, “their inner lives, their thoughts, desires, fears and emotions, and the introspective contemplation of these”, rather than the image of the female body. Although our film is documentary not fiction, we follow this approach with the aim of creating a subjective, feminist space for expressing the protagonist’s presence and her consciousness.

KeywordsDocumentary; Film Practice; Affect
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2020
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