The Bus Stops Here

Julie Zando

1990, 27:00 minutes, B&W, English


An experimental narrative about two sisters and their struggle to control the representation of their lives. One sister, a writer, asserts her sexual and psychical identity through her novel-in-progress. The other, a chronic depressive, surrenders her power and retreats into silence.
For the writer, Ana, her manuscript represents the domain of representation and sexuality. It is a work-in-progress, and represents her struggle to tell the story of her history, love relations and experiences. However her male lover resents her writing because it absorbs much of her time. Ana is also fearful of her lover's disapproval of the contents of the novel, in which she fantasizes about an affair with a woman, and she keeps it hidden from his view. The lover eventually takes the manuscript and reads its contents. Ana mistakenly accuses her ill sister of this betrayal. The lover, meanwhile, uses the writing for his own sexual satisfaction. The tape explores the way in which sexual fulfillment for women, and access to language, is always secondary to male privilege.
The forced socialization of women by structures such as the Family and the Psychiatric Establishment make it very difficult for the sisters to assert their independence. They must vie not only against authority figures, but also against the constraining and limiting role of narrative, represented in the tape by a meta-narrator, who reveals himself to be a sexed and desiring influence on the women's lives.

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Critical Writing

Ways in Being Gay
by Elizabeth Licata. High Performance, Spring 1991.
The Deep: Lures and No Exits
by Amy Taubin. The Village Voice, Nov. 13, 1990.