How Old Were The Golden Girls When The Show Ended "Goddess Remembered" – A Film Reflection

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"Goddess Remembered" – A Film Reflection

“The Remembered Goddess,” part of the “Women in Spirituality” series © 1989,

National Film Board of Canada

Produced by Margaret Pettigrew

Directed by: Donna Read

Distribution: Wellspring Media, Inc.

Wow, the hairstyles and the puffy sleeves! 80s – gotta love them. Look at the difference in social customs in 20 years. Now imagine what 2,000 years and 20,000 years and back even further can mean. This documentary pays homage to the goddess-worshipping religions of the ancient past. With his party format, I expected Judy Chicago to show up. It would be great to see every woman – Starhawk, Merlin Stone, Jean Bolen and more – sitting on the goddess placemat. In 1979, Chicago featured placemats for 39 mythical and historical famous women throughout history. By 1989, “The Dinner Party” had been running for ten years. This seems like a serious omission to me, although I did appreciate the goddess statue as a focal point on the table.

The theme of the party “Goddess Remembered” seemed appropriate since it was women who historically grew, gathered, prepared and shared food, especially in a social setting. (I don’t see why it couldn’t have been both men and women who domesticated the animals.) The viewer could see that all of these particular women were highly intelligent “heavyweights” in the goddess stratosphere. And they haven’t hung out for the past 20 years.

Jean Shinoda Bolen is a woman who said that when she gave birth, she felt horizontally connected in time to every woman there had ever been, and that “nothing prepared me for it. It hurt!” Bolen is an author, Jungian analyst and activist. She has written many books familiar to feminists, including Crossing to Avalon: A Woman’s Quest for the Sacred Feminine, Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes for Women, and The Millionth Circle: How to Change Ourselves and the World. She explains that her Millionth Circle is a tool she uses as an “advocate for sacred-centered feminine circles as a means of reaching a critical mass tipping point that brings the wisdom of women into the world.”

Starhawk is also the author of many works that celebrate the Goddess movement, including her latest, The Earth Path, which addresses the roots of our environmental destruction and tells readers how to reconnect with the Earth. She describes herself as a “peace, environmental and global justice activist and trainer, permaculture designer and teacher, heathen and witch”. Interestingly, she and Donna Read, the director of “Goddess Remembered,” co-produced a documentary about the life of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas called “Signs Out of Time.”

Merlin Stone, a sculptor and professor of art history, became interested in archeology while studying ancient art. In 1976, she wrote a book called When God Was A Woman, which delves into the matriarchal and matrilineal social structures that were suppressed by Judaism and Christianity. Her next book, Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood (1990), is a collection of stories, myths and prayers about the goddess.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at a gathering of such powerful women. I’d love to see every woman’s name and title every time she appeared on screen; it would have been a good way for the audience to get to know who these women are, but the credits weren’t available until the end of the movie, which I thought was weird.

The women and Olympia Dukakis, the film’s narrator, discussed many diverse and interesting points. They talked about the snake being a symbol of healing and prophecy. They were talking about Malta, the Greek island that is the oldest known repository of goddess culture. The people of Malta are now predominantly Catholic.

All the women seemed to share the sentiment of Luisa Teish, who said she rejected the idea of ​​a “Big Bearded White Man in the Sky”. She laughed, “I hung up on Mary!” Later she also said something significant for all women: “I am the ancestor of tomorrow.”

Crete was mentioned as a place where people studied astronomy, charted the stars and kept records. Women there could be sea captains and wagon drivers if they wished. Artistic creation was highly valued and no evidence of inequality between men and women was found in this peaceful society. No personal mark has ever been found on the artwork. Minoan Crete is the place where goddess worship was untouched for the longest time.

The Golden Age of Greece marked the beginning of male power and the end of female power. Warrior cults came to the fore then and after, rampaging the Earth and exploiting its treasures. Greece once had magnificent stands of trees and vegetation. These were cut down to make warships, and when the trees fell; sand takes over. The place once known as Eden is now a dry and desolate land.

The claim that Old Europe was female-centered, cooperative, and nonviolent seems to be a bone of contention (accused by self-proclaimed feminist Cynthia Eller, among others).

The following is a recent review of “Goddess Remembered” that I found on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com):

Many unsubstantiated claims…, 10 May 2007

By thorn101 from United States – (Charles Sheaffer)

This movie is full of outrageous nonsense and pseudoscientific gibberish. The film makes various claims that have no scientific or archaeological basis and are mere assumptions or the result of flawed logic (and wishful thinking).

Claims as (allegedly) Goddess Worship Ancient Europe was an egalitarian society centered on women. It was cooperative, non-hierarchical and non-violent. It is not true, many fortified prehistoric settlements have been found in Europe testifying to the presence of warfare.

David Anthony, an assistant professor of anthropology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., said there is evidence of weapons, including some used as status symbols, and human sacrifice, hierarchy and social inequality. Nor is there any evidence that women played a central role in either the social structure or religion of ancient Europe.

The Lengyel and Tiszapolgar cemeteries indicate that fighting, hunting and trading were male activities, as men were buried with flint tools, weapons, animal bones and copper tools. Ceramics were probably made by women and used mainly in domestic activities. This is reflected by finds of pottery with remains of women. Also, no domesticated or wild animals are associated with female burials.

The claim that satellite photos have shown that Neolithic Goddess monoliths “all stand on energy lines that criss-cross the Earth” is pure pseudoscience. There are no such things as “energy lines” that cross the earth. Also, scholars now question the identification of Neolithic megaliths with any so-called “goddess” worship.

The film contains many more such baseless claims.

Overall, it’s a nice movie to watch at an all-girls night out while honoring your inner goddess with copious amounts of chocolate. The reality is that this mockumentary has no place in women’s studies, anthropology, or archaeology, and I’m appalled to see it still being taken so seriously.

Interesting, isn’t it? It brings to mind the old Shakespearean quote: “The man protests too much.” I know neither he nor I were around 20,000 years ago so I believe his argument is moot.

I would say that the main theme of “Goddess Remembered” is how women and nature are one. “As a species we are no different from nature” is something Charlene Spretnak said and I believe she is right. It’s actually this equation:

Women = nature (illustrated by caves, snakes, water, etc.)

Man vs. nature (which pits man against woman)

Until man honors and respects nature, and so does woman, our downward spiral into oblivion through war and the destruction of the Earth will not carry us all down that swift and vengeful river together. And that would really end his and her story.

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