A Letter from the Avant-Garde
Punto de Vista Film Festival, Pamplona, Spain
by José Félix Collazos
The team of Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker (filmmaker and playwright, respectively) presented The Washing Society, one of the more stimulating (and hybrid) films on the official slate. Using the 1881 society of African American laundresses as it’s jumping off point, they show the current decline in New York City Laundromats, weaving together testimonies of real laundry workers with performances by professional actors. A juxtaposition of fact and fiction, shifting time periods and different artistic resources (performance, film, theater…) in order to discuss those invisible jobs, tied up with the most intimate parts of our lives, at the level of our skin, jobs necessary for the functioning of our societies but unseen by all but a very few.
Translation: Philip Kay