Let's Play Prisoners

Julie Zando is an avant-garde film artist who tries to delve into the human psyche of relationships between women in her film Let's Play Prisoners. Not only does she try to understand the relationships between adult women but between mothers and daughters and between children themselves.

The film opens with Jo Antsey reading a story she has written while images of a female body are shown. Following is a young girl speaking the same story but different parts of it while an older woman, her mother, recites it for her to speak. During these shots there is another young girl in the background representing the dominant girl in the story. Each girl along with Jo Antsey represents a different type of woman although they speak the same words.

At different points of the film Zando will break off from the story and present different images of small girls and mothers with their children and speak of how there are different types of power and control in each situation. Zando tries to put the point across that although love is supposed to be a give and take action mothers take love unconditionally from their children but then have the power to control the love they give their child at any given moment instead of innocently giving back as they had originally received it. Also Zando makes the point that as we are watching her film she has the control over us because there is no physical way for the viewer to give back the power she possesses over us.

This film has a very interesting viewpoint and I found it extremely interesting in how Zando puts her point across to us. The way Antsey's story is chopped up and presented to us in repetitious ways provokes more thought and intrigue into the topic at hand. Also the relationship between Zando speaking off-screen and Antsey during this film also is a bit interesting because there is tension between them by the end of the film. Something else that I noticed was that the little girl reciting the story has no costume changes but Antsey is often wearing her clothing, hair, and makeup differently during different parts of the film.

--Gelsey Wallner, 2001

Julie Zando Work