Town Bloody Hall (12A*)

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A still from Town Bloody Hall

This hugely insightful document of early-70s gender politics records an explosive panel discussion on the topic of women’s liberation moderated by Norman Mailer in front of a boisterous crowd.

A chaotic, cacophonous evening, it consisted of an encounter, on stage, between Mailer – whose incendiary essay ‘The Prisoner of Sex’ had just been published in Harper’s magazine – and four pre-eminent second wave feminists, among them Germaine Greer, author of The Female Eunuch (1970).

What begins as a panel descends into an all-out fight, with a snarly, acerbic Mailer at its centre. Discord erupts among the panellists; one participant’s opening remarks are interrupted by a lesbian love-in. The audience – who include such leading figures as Elizabeth Hardwick, Cynthia Ozick, Susan Sontag and Betty Friedan – are delighted, sometimes outraged, and pitch in with questions and remarks of their own. 'I don’t like being called a "lady writer", Norman,' says Sontag, 'It feels like gallantry to you, but it doesn’t feel right to us.'

US 1979 Dirs D A Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus 85 min Video projection

*This film has been locally classified by the Barbican Centre

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings

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