Canon: Taking to the Streets, Part One: Princeton University - Take Back the Night

1990, 10 min, color, sound

In Canon: Taking to the Streets, Birnbaum breaks with traditional documentary format. Using tools from the low-end and high-end of technology, she episodically views recent events of student activism in the United States. This is a study of the 1987 Take Back the Night march on the Princeton University campus. Birnbaum's treatment of the original student-recorded VHS footage reveals this march as having the potential to develop political awareness through personalized experience. The students attempt to "put across a historical message" that was started in San Francisco in 1978: the protest of any form of violence against women. Take Back the Night now represents men and women, in solidarity with one another, marching against sexual violence of any kind. Here the activity remains specific to violence as perpetrated against persons in the Princeton community.

Producer/Director: Dara Birnbaum. On-line/Effects Editors: Tim Farrell, Post Perfect; Bob Roesler, Caesar Video Graphics; Rick Feist, The Standby Program. Paintbox Artist: Don Butler, Post Perfect. Audio Composition/Mix: Brooks Williams, Harmonic Ranch. Music: The Picassos (Keith James, Mike Nolan). Poem Voiceover: Colleen Werthmann. Key production assistants: Katherine Lindberg, Cristiane San Miguel. Production Assistants: Molly Blieden, Cathy Bowman, Thomas Burr, Ruth Lieberman. Original Footage: The Women's Center, Princeton University (Camera: Cathy Bowman, Elliot Young, Glen Pichet). All quotations are by participants of the "Take Back the Night" March, April 1987, unless otherwise indicated. Special Thanks: Dean Winkler, Post Perfect; Peter Caesar, Caesar Video Graphics. Produced in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.