Cathryne Czubek’s “A Girl and a Gun”
Cathryne Czubek makes beautiful movies. The beauty of her cinematography in her work such as the short documentary called “On” and her numerous music videos has now spilled over into the beauty of the message that comes out her of her full-length documentary called, “A Girl and A Gun.”
When you are about to see a movie with “girls” and “guns” in the title you might think you were about to see a movie that will either promote gun usage or attack it. I did. I did and I was wrong. Although guns and rifles are major players in her documentary, I discovered the movie was so, so much more than that. It was a film about the real-life struggles of the women in the movie and, perhaps, the struggles within all of us.
Part of those inner struggles include the issue of guns and gun ownership. It was not a pro-gun movie nor was it an anti-gun movie. It is a perfect film for our times. “I never set out to prove a thesis or promote an agenda while making this film,” explained Czubek from her home in New York. “Rather it was a journey to understand how women relate to guns and gun culture in this country and how we culturally negotiate ideas of an armed woman “Quickly I discovered that almost everyone I spoke with had a very nuanced relationship with guns and gun ownership, that obviously reflected their own background and experiences, but very few were absolute about it or were unable to understand other perspectives. It’s an incredibly complex issue that we tend to discuss in black and white terms. Because the armed woman is such a distinct pop-culture icon, by focusing on women in this film I felt it allowed for an audience to approach current gun issues in a different way.”
The documentary follows the lives of several women and their individual “journey” through life with their “guns” as the backdrop on how their weapons had different meanings at different points in their lives.
For instance, an inmate (Karen Copeland) who killed her girlfriend said about her rifle, “At first the weapon was something that I felt could protect me but it became a tool fordestruction.” Still, Tai Chi instructor Robin Natanel had mixed feelings about killing someone even if it meant saving her own life. Hunter Crissy Springer gave her 8-year-old sun a rifle for Christmas even though her own brother was killed while hunting at the age of 14.
In fact, every story within the documentary can be broken down to its own feature-length film. It is that powerful. Just as _ Czubek had to trim 10 years work and over 500 hours of film down to 75 minutes, there just is not enough space here to give her movie the full review it deserves. “I certainly explored and interviewed many female activists on the various political sides of gun rights and gun control,” said Czubek. “What really resonated were the stories of average women who were really honest and not promoting an agenda.
I feel that what is missing from gun conversations today is everything but the politics.”
DVD is scheduled to be release on September 17 with many more scenes added.
Directed by: Cathryne Czubek
Produced by: Cathryne Czubek, Jessica Wolfson Cinematography, Writing by: Cathryne Czubek