Having stayed up till the wee hours this morning watching all the episodes of FLYING back to back, I can tell you I woke up and greeted today as an altered woman. Altered, not as in a Picasso-like mutation, but rather, deep inside myself. And to think that those “chock full o'discs” were on my Netflix queue for over a year. Serendipitously, they arrived one month before I happen to hit a half-century. Your honesty, and a myriad of other admirable qualities, inspired me to tears and then to have one helluva heartfelt conversation with my 78, going on 12-year-old, father. As I sit here in Portland, Oregon so far from the NYC, Westchester, and Cape Cod of my earlier years, I can't help but wish the oddly familiar six-hour journey was ahead of me rather than behind. Thank you, Jennifer, for helping make it be a bit easier to be me. Long struggle loosened…
Carrie, Portland, Oregon February 15, 2010
This is just a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate your work. I am in the middle of watching Flying, Confessions of a Free Woman. I feel VALIDATED. Thank you!
I am a 51-year old, single, never married, straight woman without children. I support myself financially as a social worker with the mentally ill and also am an artist.
In the documentary, you are so honest and the personal info you reveal is so relevant to my life. Witnessing you share your life experiences and in particular your pain with other women makes me think of a collective female vessel.
Your work is really great. Keep it up. I am telling everyone I know to watch Flying.
Sue, Massachusetts February 19, 2009
"Hi Jennifer,I was taken by your honesty and openness in the films 'Flying...' I think that the idea of showing oneself in reflection of others in different parts of the world and doing it in such an unmannered way is very unusual and refreshing. I have seen a few programs where the filmmaker/reporter sort of takes part and steps in to the documentary but never in such a sincerely and intimately way. That is pioneering documentary journalism. It is when you put your own history in relation to others that it becomes interesting.
I recognized many of the feelings you portrayed although I think I am different from you and have a different history. I really appreciated when you spoke about being middle class and that this affected your impressions and feelings (Not having experienced certain things.)This is something many people don't talk about. (Pierre Bourdieu is an exception.)I also like that you talk so frankly about being a woman and a human without a lot of feminist cliches.
The questions of being a woman according to the good old ideals is not easy. Actually your film takes the issue to a philosophical level. I craved for a child for several years and got one at the end of the day, by an in vitro fertilization. In some ways it was the best that ever happened to me. I adore my son. But at the same time being a mother and the role of motherhood is very demanding, and it's not always compatible with being a good wife or lover.
Gunilla, Stockholm, August 25, 2008
"Hello! i'm a 48 year old swedish guy.
I have just wached the series Flying: Confessions of a free woman.
All three parts in a few days. I'm impressed.
It was, I think, one of the most interesting documentary series I have ever seen.
The most interesting documentary about real persons in the real world at least.
I could feel every sense that Jennifer or her friends felt with that upclose "camera-in-the-face" -way that it were filmed in.
So I hope that the child that were, hopefully, born after the film was ready, came out in a happy way and that Jennifer is
feeling good and of course every participant also is good. Eventhough there were some of her friends that were suffering
of cancer. Which is a really tough illness to recover from. I am living quite similar to how Jennifer are living.
Even if I am a man. I have no kids. I have tried but when I were with the woman that I tried to have a kid with, it did not
work. So we broke up and I am now in a relationship with a woman who have two grown up kids.
I have never been married and have no plans to get married now either. We live separatly in our own homes
and meet just when we want to. It works really well. But in different to Jennifer we live in the same town with just 5 minutes by car
to get to each other.
Of course there is much more to say about our lives here in Helsingborg, Sweden.
But as i wrote in the beginning of this mail. I thought the series was great.
And I of course wanted it to be longer and have more parts but I also understand that it has to end in some way.
It was a fantastic serie.
Ulf, Helsingborg, Sweden, August 12, 2008
"I an a 41 yr single female , I reside in Bellevue , Washington my last career job was RN. I am unemployed at this time and have been watching alot of TV. I stumbled onto your movies ,on the sundance channel. I found them to be very open and honest , on the most deep and personal subjects, and admire you for being able to reveal or expose all your personal thoughts, ideas, discussions of your ,interpersonal relationships of your own family and sharing the personal relations on film, of your females friends and male boyfriends.I also have traveled to many different countries, alone or with tour groups as alone as a single female , as for vacations , not for interviews , and have met many females other travelers, tour guides and some locals , of which ,I have discussed ideas of "love and marriage" and western ideals , how different western ideals are from these other countries, or cultures .(ALSO , I HAVE HAD relations or sex with many men i have met on my trips , and one in particual I MARRAIED AT AGE 38 AND THIS IS ANOTHER STORY OF ULTIMATE BETRYAL IN ITSELF , but this horror story is long and for another time ,
LETS just say , i was tricked onto beleif of true love for myself , married to an INDIAN MAN , wedding was traditional hindu , was in INDIA AND WELL , GOT WORSE FROM THERE ,
MARRIED IN FIRST TIME EVER AT AGE 38 , DEC 2004 , AND FILED FOR DIVIORCE STARTING IN JUNE 2005
DIVIORCE GRANTED SPET 14TH 2005 , FREE AGAIN )I would say that , most of the 3rd world type countries i have visited , were the most obvious of females oppression or types of social rules and restrictions and idea of baby makers and housewives, and non virgins are whores or tainted , Cambodia , Thailand , Egypt, India , Mongolia , Peru , and even in CHINA ,Western ideals seem to prevail , in Germany ,France , Italy ,Switzerland , Netherlands , Finland ,Sweden,Denmark
RUSSIA , women are educated , but still suppressed , Poland , Lithuania , Belarus ,
NONE OF THESE PLACES STILL CAN COMPARE TO USA , where females are almost as equal to men and free to enjoy casual sex with pleasure . and no need to walk behind the man in public , IS NORMAL OR OK TO show public affection , DOES NOT require, special clothes cover ones body in certain ways ,WITH THE FEW NORMAL exceptIONS to enter Churches EXCTERAI even have girlfriends here in USA, that have immigrated from different countries or there parents are immigrants from around the world , that continue to follow the ideals of their parents, and or cultures , of which women are basically suppressed of kept , or feel the need to be a wife, and produce children in order to have purpose in there life , AND FEEL LOVED or accepted by there peers society or religion.I would say that there is not many ideas in your films that I already have not known about or explored ,but , I am lucky as i was never raped or had this type of abuse to damage my ideas about sex .My emotional turmoil , was and probably still is of , being brought up feeling unloved by my parents and my grandparents. My mother was from Germany, and my German Grandmother was IE , mean and cold, not allowed to show emotion , never say the words of I love you or shown affection to as in even a hug , and disliked or distaste for all men , as my grandfather controlled my grandmother and beat her often, but , she would never dare try for a divorce , he wouldn't let her "HE OWNED HER, AS IF TO BE A PIECE OF PROPERTY"HE FINNALLY committed suicide year or so , after faking a heart attack in a court room when my grandmother finally at about age 70 attempted to divorce ,they had been living separately after a court ordered restraint followed a severe beating of my grandmother . She was so afraid of this man that she had an alarm system added to her home and barely ever left her house .I went with my grandmother to the condo where he had done this deed to assit with the clean up , as my grandmother was too stressed out to do it alone , there was still frank blood trail into the bathroom , where he had done the deed . We found hate letters addressed to each family member stating how all of us were just selfish and how my sister and i were just greedy females whores .after my mother died , i spent time visiting with my grandmother , but , we never talked personal or deeply , the weather and work is the basic conversations MY advice from my grandmother was always "stay away from men , they are horrible and all they do is get on you and do there business , so leave those boys alone"My parents never talked about dating or falling in love or relationships or even any stories of how they met or "fell in LOVEI think there marriage was one of convince , as they were 2 troubled peoples alone in the world trying to make it , but needed each other for financial support and had children to fit into the 50s or 60s ideas of a typical normal family "society".MY parents marriage was rejected by both sides of there families as because 1 my mother was from a foreign country , and was considered of opposing religions , IE catholic and Nazarene. NO ONE family member from either side attended wedding , only the priest and a friend as a witnessMy parents fought often and my mother would end up crying and saying that she wanted a divorce , but , she was a very weak and of low self esteem , no college education , so she just stuck things out and seemed to just try and make things nice for "us KIDS".MY mother passed away of a freak medical issue , aneurysms in the Brain at age 41, i was 15 or 16 at the time and my sister was 14-or 15 . We were now alone with just my father , and he didn't know what to do about girls , so he just continues to go to work and basically ignored us girls. He started to date many other women and was gone often, to spend time with the other ladies and their kids .My parents ,had never mentioned sex , or even talked to my sister or myself about anything of this personal nature .I OVER HEARD A PHONE CONVERSATION OF MY FATHER TO ONE OF HIS CURRENT GIRLFRIENDS, once stated that , we had had better not get pregnant , because he was not going to do anything about our PROBLEMS .My father asked me to leave the house at 18 yrs old , one week after high school graduation , because his legal responsibilities , to myself were over .SO , i left , i felt very much of rejection and unloved . This idea has been since 16 , so i am sure , i began looking for the idea of 'LOVE ' in attention from males or men .I began having casual sex , to find this idea of LOVE , AT AGE 17 , AND i had many boyfriends and casual sex , with lots of guys , from then on , until about age of 28-or 29
and no , orgasms and not really knowing about any pleasure in sex , had not had any , and did not miss pleasure , because really it was unknown . And these superficial relationships , just ended up making me feel more empty inside , and lonely , guilty.Was LOOKING FOR LOVE IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH ANY MALES THAT SEEMED INTERESTED , or just casual sex , with out any strings attached , yes , even had affair with a married man , and did not ever love him . Or want to have him leave his wife , , it was just sex , nothing more and nothing less.I finally came to idea of love of self , and not needing to have a boyfriend , for whatever reasons ,and that being a single female independent and alone , is just fine , now at about age 32-38NOW , MY PERSONAL ADVICE TO YOU in regards to the TYE guy , in AFRICA , IT IS ONLY HURT FULL TO YOURSELF TO HAVE ANY SORT OF SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A MARRIED MAN . IF HE IS SO CONCERNED WITH YOU "FUCKING OTHER MEN"WHY SHOULD YOU NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM "FUCKING HIS WIFE " IS IT OK FOR HIM TO HAVE 2 FEMALES , YET YOU MUST BE COMMITTED TO ONLY HIM ???AND ANOTHER THING ,YOU ASK "WHY DO WOMEN HURT OTHER WOMEN???"THEN ASK YOURSELF HOW DO YOU THINK TYES WIFE WOULD FEEL ABOUT YOU SLEEPING WITH HER HUSBAND , AS LONG AS THEY ARE MARRIED ,HE IS HERS REGARDLESS , OF THERE PERSONAL ISSUES OR PROBLEMS ,UNTIL , THEY ARE 100% DIVORCED , THEN THIS TYPE OF MALE IS AND SHOULD BE OFF LIMITS .WHY WOULD A CONFIDENT FEMALE LET HERSELF FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS TYPE OF PERSON , WHO HAS NO REGARD FOR A WOMEN'S FEELINGS AS PROVED BY WHAT HE IS WILLING TO DO TO HIS WIFE : IE CHEAT , ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATERTHIS IS NOT LOVE , THIS IS JUST A CONVINCE FOR A MAN , IF YOU ARE ABLE TO JUST HAVE CASUAL SEX WITH HIM AND NO EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT THEN YOU ARE A FREE WOMAN , BUT , ANY SIGN OF EMOTION ON YOUR PART , IS JUST SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR A GREAT HURT .DON'T SLEEP WITH MARRIED MEN AS YOU ARE HURTING ANOTHER FEMALE AND FEMALES SHOULD EMPOWER AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER AND BY DOING THIS THING YOU ARE JUST AS GUILTY CONTRIBUTING TO THE IDEA OF WOMEN HURTING DISRESPECTING AND CONTINUING ON WITH A DOUBLE STANDARD OF MENS IMPORTANCE AND SUPERIORITY .........................................WHY AS A FEMALE WOULD YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO HARMING ANOTHER FEMALE IN ANY WAY ?????All of us have personal stories of journey of looking for love and affection , and many of us have poor examples of this set by our parents , is to truly find ones self and find love of self , and as western females we are very lucky because we have a chance at this , where as other females in various states of oppression , or cultural and social and religious restrictions , cannot possibly fathom or understand this conceptor are unable to break away from what "they were taught or know , from family examples ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,FOR MYSELF ,since all my family is deceased , except for my sister , i am free in USA , to behave in any manor that i please , without family judgment , or restrictions or rules of any religion ,it is most difficult at times to decide what is best for myself as an 'INDEPENDENT AND FREE FEMALE "AS i have been supporting myself since 18 yrs old , now at 41 , at least I HAVE LOVE FOR MYSELF , AND would like to find my soul mate or a man to love and share life with , but , i am willing to wait until , i find true love , i refuse to settle for anything less , even if i am way past child bearing years , is not as important as , waiting for the right one , to share life with ,IS MORE IMPORTANT , and casual sex , is not good , but yes , is still sometimes slef ish wanting insatant gratification and pleasure , which is not to be confused with loveand of this does not happen , i still am enjoying travel and all things in this life , weather it be with my good friends , or working , or spending time alone doing as i please , this life is too short to not try and explore all things , and enjoy being free as females can be , in USAOKTHIS IS A VERY LARGE AND RAMBLING BOOK I HOPE YOU HAVE TIME TO READ THIS , AND MAYBE FIND IT INTERESTING ????OR INFORMATIVE ?????I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE A BOOK IN RE GUARDS TO MY MARRIAGE NIGHTMARE AS I THINK OTHERS WILL FIND IT Unbelievable AND TWISTEDi can only thank god , i am still alive to tell the story
Krista, Bellevue, July 31, 2008
"I am a 29 year old black attorney from Chicago. I have been moved to tears by the honesty and integrity of this program. You don't hold back any punches... and your audacity, the boldness of your truth is a credit to all of us and the complexity of our stories. Thank you for offering a new perspective on womanhood in this world. Thank you for allowing me to see myself in this multidimensional prism that is womanhood. It's been a pleasure to watch and take in.
Keri, Chicago, July 14, 2008
"Dear Jennifer,I am a 41 year old single white female who has resided in Dallas, Texas for over 5 years now. I have never married, had many relationships, even a marriage that I had to pull a plug in when I was 32 with no regrets. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and I have done travelling nursing in Atlanta, Georgia, Lexington, Kentucky, Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I have met many men from all these states, believe me I have some interesting stories that may be of interest to you.Your film was refreshing for me to see. It seems as though many women jump ship to be married and to have the "Mrs. Title", so many of them are not happy. I on the other hand love my life, like you, I have a about 3 men in which I see for different reasons. This way, I am not disappointed and my expectations are pretty much well taken care of.Regards,Lisa
Lisa, Dallas, June 26, 2008
"Sex is at first mechanical. The outward protrusions, the embrace. Symbolic gestures from our creation that persistently shapes our mentality toward the condition of a man and a woman. If history and genetics can't change this, hopefully our consciousness will. Necessary filmmaking.
Sarah B., Houston, May 31, 2008
"To Jennifer Fox:
I just watched your series on one of the independent channels and found myself wanting to shake some sense in to you . For a suppossedly educated woman who has been all around the world you are highly naive about love and relationships. I was down right pissed off that you could have an affair with a married man and not think about the other woman involved. You kept mentioning "the children". PLEASE! This man was having his cake and eating it too. Did you ever stop for one minute to think that by being a part of that affair that you were part of allowing another woman (who was innocent in all this mess ) to live a lie ? She did not ask for any off that. You wanted what you wanted and you justified it to your self. It was selfish and that is all there is to it. If the guy was man enough he would have made a choice. It didn't have to come down between you or his children but you and the wife. The children are there no matter what. Also, hate to break it to you sweety, a few grunts between the sheets does not mean you are in love. It's lust and it doesn't last. In a good relationship one person does not hold the other back as you kept repeating over and over again. In a good relationship you allow the other person to flourish and be themselves and help them grow as a person. You love them for their good qualities and even the annoying ones.It can be done and I am living proof. I in no sense of the word was brought up in a traditional household. Mom always told us we could do what ever we wanted blah blah blah. Dad also supported us in that area. I find you have no respect for the woman behind the scene making sure that when your father 'left the house' all was taking care of . The house the children and all that entails. Unless you do it you have no idea. She was responsible for five human beings lives. If that does not earn her a little gratitude from you or at the very least a little respect then I don't know what will.
Just one woman's opinion,
Ericka, May 27, 2008
"I'm not in the habit of writing fan letters, but after seeing Flying, I feel compelled to do just that. I was so deeply moved by Flying, and really blown away by your courage as a filmmaker and as a woman. You and I are the same age, and while our respective experiences have been vastly different, I've faced many of the same issues as you. You handled a lot of really difficult subjects with grace and aplomb, and I applaud you.
Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us!
Regina, May 22, 2008
"Jennifer, I didn't have time to write last week - but it is even more riveting this week. You really are doing what you were born to do. I am completely fascinated by your story and all the women around the world you are filming. Amazing that I feel so connected to them and you. You made the world feel big and small at the same time- how do you do it? How does it feel on the other side? Can't wait til next week.Love, Cicily"
Cicily, May 15, 2008
I have been watching FLYING on the Sundance channel and I am
completely riveted by the honesty of these women and Jennifer's
courage. You have all done incredible work on this project.
Katie, May 15, 2008
"I was blown away by the honesty and unadulterated way you film and reveal yourself. I too lived my life in fear of many things, but one day I found the Jesus of the Jews to be a real friend of people like me and you. Now what I first thought to be bondage and slavery (marriage) is truly a design of our true nature... When you find your design, then you will find your purpose and being... hint: God designed you after his own blue print. good luck on this new journey, it's a real amazing one."
A Friend, May 04, 2008
"I hope your return to New York on Sunday was safe and that you've managed to get some rest. I also hope you've been having a wonderful time with Patrick.
It was a rich pleasure to meet you after your film at the MFA on Saturday evening. I wish I had done less talking on the ride back to Cambridge and more listening to your experiences! I kept kicking myself afterward, wishing I'd made far more space for hearing about you. I hope we'll get the chance at some point.I want to thank you for your encouragement to write and your suggestion to weave my own story into my writing. I took some leaps with that this week, but clearly I have a long way to go!
Your intimate sharing of your own story is deeply inspiring. I continue to commend you for your courage. Your willingness to share your vulnerabilities elicited the humanity in each of us and allowed us to connect with our own histories more honestly. Art becomes richer and more meaningful when it touches on both the personal and the universal and you manage to do both beautifully in FLYING.In your film I was struck by your courage, your intelligence, your boldness, your authenticity, your honesty, your gifts for friendship, your insight, your realness and your accessibility.
At the Q&A I was struck by your immense kindness, wisdom, and compassion. In the car I was struck by your gentleness, your generosity of spirit, and your deep presence. You possess truly fine qualities. How lovely to witness that a successful person can also be an amazingly rich and caring human being.I hope this message makes it past the filters, assistants, and whatever other layers might be involved...
I realize that your life is quite busy, so I can imagine that keeping in touch with someone you've met only briefly would be a near impossibility, but I hope our paths will cross again. I wish you all the very best."
Shirin, Boston, April 25, 2008
"I'm one of many several women touched by your film. I saw it in London, during the Birds Eye View Festival. It brought me back memories of my grandmother in such a strong way. She was born in 1897 in Recife, north-eastern Brazil (a highly male oriented region in the country). She used to say the two happiest days of her life were when she got married and then when she became a widow.
She was so deadly happy at her husband's funeral that she wanted him to be buried as she was afraid he could come back to life. 'I wanted to dance over his grave while your aunt seemed to be the widow,' she used to tell me. She was my dad's mother.Granny is not here anymore, I wish I had captured some of her strength and sorrow on camera. It's too late now, but after watching your film so many things started to make sense for me.
Anyways, I don't even know if that's your email, or if you are ever gonna read this.Unfortunately, I couldn't make it for the master-class at the ICA in London, but brought your DVD home and watched the whole series. I'm now writing an article for a magazine (Continente Multicultural) published in Recife, my hometown, using my granny's memories and the impressions I had of your journey. I'd love to know if you are
planning to release the film any time soon in Brazil, or if you have versions of the DVD with subtitles in Portuguese. I'm giving the site on the internet at the bottom of my article, anyways, but that would be brilliant if your film could be shown in Brazil.Hope it's all going very well with you."
Maria, New York, April 4, 2008
"I LOVED your party, and I loved seeing you in all of your shining glory. I actually gave you a hug, but you were overwhelmed with guests all around you. You will see my face on your video as I did the camera sharing with my friend Elissa and two other women in your sanctuary. I also gave Chany, who sang such extraordinary blues, a lipstick because my heart was flying from her song ONE and her raw talent in that room. What a remarkable community and party for women artists. Incredible!"
Jody, New York, March 30, 2008
"Last night a group of us gathered to view the first chapter of the FLYING films. Eight women attended, including me. Six were women I knew from the congregation and one was a woman friend I know from outside the church. She brought another friend with her. I decided to view the first film and then have a brief discussion following it in which I gave each person five minutes to talk about what they reacted to in the film and to relate that to their lives.
It was a very rich discussion and it certainly brought a lot of feelings for each of us. We had a couple different generations represented and it was interesting to see how some of what we reacted to had a lot to do with what we experienced as women and what was expected of us as women in the particular generation we grew up in. I passed out the evaluations of the film to each person afterward and I will be collecting those in the next couple of weeks to return to you.
I decided not to show the second film as all of us agreed that the films are so rich with content that viewing both of them at once precludes having the time to take in what we've seen. This is something I noticed when I saw Jennifer's films at the Walker Art Center. I attended that showing with a group of women co-counselors and after seeing three in succession we all had difficulty discussing all of the many things we were reacting to in the films.
Thus, based on that previous information and the needs of my group I gave them the option of not viewing the second film. They all agreed that one film at a time was preferable. However, all of us would really like to see the second film and have another discussion afterward. They asked me if it would be possible to gather again in two weeks to view the second film and discuss that one as well. I told them I would ask you if that was a possibility.
Let me know if I could show the second film in two weeks to the same group of women with the possibility of including a few more from the church that were not able to attend last night.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to view the films."
Jodi, March 26, 2008
"Je t'envoie juste un petit mot déjà pour garder le contact avec toi et pour te dire que ton film a été vu par une poignée "d'oficionados" fervents (male and female!) et a donné lieu à des petites discussions très vives sympathiques et riches au niveau de la problématique de l'idée de "liberté."
Quant à moi, je me débats toujours dans mes histoires de "pauvreté" de pays riche, j'espère ne pas finir comme "wanda" ou "sue" de (sue perdue in Manhattan!) et je vais faire de la publicité pour ton film, le montrer à mes amis, etc, je trouve que c'est un document extraordinaire et NECESSAIRE à tout le monde!
Bon courage pour la suite."
Patricia Kajnar, France, March 21, 2008
I was very happy to discover your film FLYING, and I thought about it during a long time in the days after with a lot of emotion. It was a shared emotion with my daughter Géraldine as you know (it was a precious and rare moment together, also because of the theme of your film). She was very enthusiastic about the following films she had
the chance to see.I'm a specialist of women's history and gender studies, and I take as much pleasure at your own self-portrait as all your women's portraits, so sensitive and true. In my research, I very often seek the right word to suggest all the complexity of women or of gender relations and you achieved this with your camera.
So your regard appeared to me very deep. It's a very beautiful cinematographic language on those subjects. What was more surprising (maybe for a French mentality but it's absolutely not a criticism - more a question) is the lack of the social context (in the wide sense) or political preoccupations or allusions, also in your personal life,
but maybe it's really your point of view, or your choice to focus on your intimacy and on the women's intimacy (and we can also analyse this choice in political terms in a feminist culture).I wish you great success for your film, and I hope to have the chance to see the following film of this wonderful work. I enjoyed meeting you after the film in Créteil,
and feeling your sincerity. If you came back to France, it would be a great pleasure to see you again."
Florence Rochefort, Paris, France, March 21, 2008
Just wanted to say that it was really great to meet you and see the first half of FLYING. Because I was volunteering for the Birds Eye View Film Festival, I have yet to see the second half of the film, but I plan to order a DVD from the website. They sold within seconds after your masterclass at the ICA!FLYING was an inspiration to me on many levels. The film really brought to light some things I have been thinking about for the past several years, relating to both filmmaking and gender.
It was also great for me to see this film coming out of America. I used to work produce/research documentaries in NYC for 7 years before moving to England, and I found that filmmakers had quite a challenge carving out a niche for themselves that did not adhere to a form that had already been tried and tested.Bizarrely, in the UK I have found more support for making short docs,and I'll have one that I directed on Channel 4 this summer - yippee!I've told a few NYC friends about your film and also about the SWAN party on the 29th.
Wish I could be there! Am very much looking forward to finishing FLYING..."
Meghan, March 19, 2008
"First, a big grateful thank you for last night's film viewing and Q&A with Jennifer. It was obvious from the questions that the film had had a big impact on many in the screening room. It was great to see a mixed audience of men and women and different age groups which says to me you are doing everything right. This film needs to be seen by a wide audience because it is about us all. I'm sure I will be processing the film over many weeks - it has so many layers and implications.
As a 58 year old divorced woman it gave me renewed hope about changing male/female role models for the better,among many other things."
Ellen, San Francisco, March 6, 2008
I was at the Walker (in Minneapolis) on Sunday night when you presented your film, and I wanted to congratulate you and ask a question. I am sorry I didn't ask you this on Sunday, and I would understand if you don't have too much free time to answer it via this note.
So, I was wondering... In the film, we see how your conversations with your friends changed you, allowed you to see things through a different lens, and how these conversations spanned people and cultures. Yet, I feel like the most important part of these conversations is how these conversations 'changed' your 'non-western' friends.
I feel like your conversations about masturbation changed the women in India, but their culture, their customs, their way of life is still the same. The men they encounter every day are still the same men. Yet, the women have themselves changed. They now know (or at least have heard of) female pleasure. How have these women's lives changed even though the culture they live in hasn't?
Is knowledge a risk? Or, is knowledge power? This is obviously a matter of opinion, and I would love to hear yours. Again, i'm sorry I didn't ask this on Sunday. Yet, this is probably one way for me to let you know that i found your film fascinating.
I have never written to a director to ask a question in the past - neither have I struggled with a question for three days even though, due to some ethnographic work I have done, I have thought about it. Thank you, and again, congrats."
George, February 06, 2008
I would first of all say that you are amazing! I love the documentary FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN, which recently has been shown on swedish television.
You're great because you seem to love to talk about all secrets in our lives, and you are not afraid of anything. Wonderful to see a women who has been through a lot in their lives.
What's your plan for the future?Will you come to Europe and work? I am looking forward to hear from you."
Edward Axell, January 24, 2008
I am a Romanian woman, 38 years old, living in Sweden and working in Denmark. Some months ago, I noticed in the Swedish media some highlights announcing your series. The short presentation raised my highest interest. However, at that time, mixed in the eddies of modern life, I succeeded to miss all episodes. My Swedish boyfriend has reminded me recently that we should perhaps see it, so after buying the DVD's we watched it together over the last days. It was such a rare experience, to "live" all these moments of your and other women's lives: Every scene presented raised a deep need of self reflection.
The major benefit with your work is that it has real healing powers! It matters so much to see that "I am not the only one going through this." I come myself from a family and culture with very different norms and values regarding women's lives and sexuality than the ones in the world I live in now. The gap in the attitude and in communication will always be there, between me and my parents, but it seems there is hope for complete mental liberation.
As I said, I watched your series with my boyfriend, who also appreciated it very much. We debated a lot on it. I am lucky enough to live now with a man so "advanced" in mentality to encourage me watching such documentaries and even to taking action. However, I came to this point after (too) many years of an unhappy marriage, after living afterwards for a while as a single woman and mother, while fighting for my son, for succeeding with my studies and job, and nevertheless for integrating simultaneously in two foreign countries.
My message here is that there is really hope, as long as a woman struggles and learns from her own mistakes. Of course, this works on the assumption of societies that are in progress.
I hope your mother/parents saw the series and that it made her/them think everyday. I will show the episodes to my mother, when she'll visit in the summer. I am sure your series has the capability to shake the establishment of their thinking, and by this trigger that change which makes a difference.
Thank you so much for you shedding light on my own life, by sharing yours and other women's!"
Adina, Sweden, January 18, 2008
I am not sure if this note will reach you, but hopefully it will. After having followed FLYING on Swedish television this autumn, I just want to thank you so much for having captured so much feelings, contradictions, struggles and hopes in this film. I am deeply moved by your film, and I almost feel like I know you. Thanks a lot, and if you ever come to Stockholm again, I would be very happy to meet you!
Warmest greetings and all the very best for 2008."
Kristina, December 31, 2007
"Dear Zohe Films team,
FLYING: Confessions of a Free Woman was shown on Finnish TV (Yle 1) and I, with all of my female friends, fell in love with it.
It's perhaps the best documentary film ever - it was touching, it caused multiple discussions about how we feel about being a woman and living as a woman, how we see our parents and relationships with men.
My question is: is this marvelous document available in DVD?
I wish it was, because that is the most significant thing I could give to my female and male friends, grown-up godchildren etc.
I thank you for this document.
Please send my best regards to J. Fox from Finland."
Minttu Hapuli, December 18, 2007
My name is Marie, and I'm originally from Sweden, so please forgive me for my language barrier. Although I have lived in the United States for almost twelve years, I still come across and sound like a teenager at times.
I periodically go online to watch Swedish television and cure my home sickness for a while. This time I came across your documentary that they had placed online to watch. I thought it sounded interesting and watched the first episode.
Well, it was like a good book that you just can't put down. I couldn't wait to see what your next thoughts were or where your next adventure was going to be. I ended up watching all six episodes back to back. I got totally drawn into your world.
Already being someone who wants to move to the East Coast, your location kept my attention enough. But more than anything it was your friendships with all your International friends all over the world that fascinated me. It also made me realize how lonely I am living here abroad. You're philosophy of thinking that "if you have all these good friends around you, do you really need a man," made me question the same thing myself.
How's one man supposed to fulfill all your needs in life?!!! I loved the way you really listened to the people you had conversations with. You took a genuine interest in people and it shows. What I envy most is that you pick up on the little wake up calls that you keep getting, and you try to make changes in your life.
I can't help to think of myself who's walking around, only existing and not really living. Being too scared or lazy, to make any kind of changes, even though I feel so very unfulfilled and unhappy. We tend to think that "it can only get worse and not better?!!"
When do we know if we're settling in life, or if this is as good as it gets in life?! Do we have too high standards and expectations of life, I wonder.
I have many questions about life and death. But people don't talk about death or being afraid of dying.
I'm grateful for you bringing us this documentary that I just couldn't get enough of. It leaves you wondering about you and your life. It makes you question yourself and the choices we make.
It makes me miss good female friends to talk to and realize how important that is.
I thing it was brave of you to leave yourself out like you did. I think you helped a lot of people in their own lives.
Please keep on doing your documentaries. Maybe you can consider making one about death and people's fear of talking about this subject and what their real thoughts are.
I can't help to wonder if you're living in Switzerland and how you feel about that move. Do you miss the States, or do you feel content and happy where you are? Not a day goes by without me asking myself where I really want to live and how to accomplish that.
I can't wait to see more from you. I'm sorry about your grandma! I feel honored to have been invited to get a look into your family's life. It was so very interesting and rewarding since we all have these strained relationships somehow.
Like you, I want to become closer to my mom but not knowing how to. Keep up the good work and please give us more!"
Marie, December 16, 2007
"Dear Jennifer Fox,
I just wanted to say hello and thanks! Yesterday evening the last part (part 6) of your documentary film FLYING was shown here on TV on YLE1. There was some music from Kinotar production Soapdealer's Sunday by Sanna Salmenkallio.
I was playing the harp in the soundtrack. I think you used this music very nicely and with a deep emotional understanding, it really felt good with the pictures.
I wanted to ask you if it is okay to put a mention that I am playing in this documentary soundtrack on my own website? It would be great since I liked FLYING very much.
My website address is http://www.arcticharp.pp.fi
Warmest greetings from Helsinki."
Essi Iso-Oja, December 14, 2007
Couldn't stop watching it.
Best regards from Norway."
Kathrine, December 10, 2007
"Dear Jennifer,I just watched the last episode of Flying, and it felt sad to say goodbye to you, after hours of excitment and anixety following your life. Then I found out about this webpage, and I felt like writing you an email, but there seems to be only this, so my confession has to be for everyone interested.
There is something in your story that really has touched me, and made me feel very connected to you, almost like you are a big sister or something. We are different in a lot of ways, but what I recognise is this feeling of wanting to be free and independent, and to flee away from things or people close to us because we can't handle the complicated relationship we have with them.
Unlike you, I have not had many love relationships, and I find it hard to get close to people and open up and talk about how I really feel. I have always kept up a smiling but rather stiff attitude. And I am always running away to new places, thinking that it will change if I move to antoher country, or start a new job or what ever. I have just recently started to realise I am probably taking it with me everywhere, and that it is a fear of getting too close to people cause I might loose them.
Still I really want to get close to them, and to let people in! This in itself I think has to do with things that happend when I was little, but that is too complicated to go into now. I have always felt like I want to have a baby though, and that I will have it no matter if there is a man around to have it with. I don't know if that is just a longing to have someone who is there for you always unconditionally, which is not the right reason to have a child I suppose.
I am still quite young so there is time for me to figure this out, but sometimes I get scared, and speically after seeing your dilemmas, that time is just passing, and that I will keep running away from my demons until it is to late to live my life fully the way I would like to.
Somehow it felt important to share with you. It would be great to get in touch personally, but I really understand if you don't have time to answer all the letters you get. Good look with your work, and with everything you do in life!"
Paula, December 03, 2007
"For six weeks, on late Sunday nights, I have been watching FLYING - CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN. I have been invited on an exploring tour of your life, your mother's life, your grandmother's, and in all the lives of women you met. And so, step by step, I have opened my heart, my love, my anger, my frustration, my fear, my dreams and for a dialouge that goes on and on. I have smiled, I have cried.
Thank you for FLYING CONFESSIONS, says a sister who soon will be 50, mother of Isac and Aron in their twenties, a documentary filmmaker who for many years struggled for a good life where motherhood and profession could exist together."
Susanne Palm-Wahlstedt, Vasa, Finland, December 02, 2007
"I'm a woman from Uruguay... I live in Stockholm, and I'm going to Costa Rica to work with people in a few weeks. I've never been married, I don't have any children, and I'm trying to practice unconditional love... It is not easy... But most of the time it seems to work! It is better than loving with a lot of rules... There is so much pain in doing that... I used to live that way before because my culture and everybody told to me to live this way... So I did... Until I discovered a new way to love through a spiritual awakening...
I'm so inspired by your films and about your life... You are such a beautiful person! I can feel that I'm not alone in being a free woman, I'm not alone feeling pain... sometimes just beacuse I'm too free... Sometimes I think that maybe there is something wrong with me... Maybe I'm not normal... But I just can't do as most of the people do... I just can't be married and have a lot of kids... I can't feel that I want to do that... so I don't... I'm almost 38 years old and... I love to be free!
You are always welcome to Costa Rica if you wish... I don't know how my life is going to be there... The Latino culture is so different from the Swedish... I will be a REAL UFO there!!! Love and hugs from me :-)"
Zilmara, Stockholm, November 20, 2007
I am a 48-year-old Jewish woman of Israeli origin, living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have seen most of your Flying Confessions series over Danish TV, and I loved and hated both you and the series in the process. Thank you!!!
I am sorry for the loss of your baby! And I was in such pain when Patrick had such hard times containing you in your pain... At the same time, in regard to your loss, being that I am a mum, I am also thinking that I brought 2 wonderful children into this world, because those are the kind of babies I can bring to the world. But the kind of "baby" you brought with Flying Confessions will live for many years and in so many of us!!! What an amazing baby!
I loved the fact that you, since you are so open and willing to talk openly about the issues you brought up in the series, and since you have such a great presence in that media, started this conversation. I am also grateful that you did it in the way you did... For that I think you are brilliant!
The one thing I missed from the conversation, both with yourself and the women you spoke to in the process is, to find out more about how do women remove themselves from where they come from, from the background, the parents, family and other role models they more or less choose to have in their lives, and even as adults...?! How can we move on from that and inspire others by doing so, without losing the past, that is such a great part of who we are - as women, as mums, as lovers and who we are in our own lives?!
Only very few women spoke of this, and I for one find it important and interesting to look into and to talk about more openly then I think most of us do, - and I in US, I mean both in western society and else where in the world.
Looking forward to hearing more from you, and continue this conversation with you and with others... I'm happy Danish documentary inspired you the way it did!!!
Trust all is well with you."
Vered, November 20, 2007
"Hey! Just wanted to say thanks - your documentary is now showing in Sweden, and it has saved my Sunday evenings now that Sopranos is gone. I totally love it, it's like beeing among my own friends again, whom I miss quite much after moving way up north in Sweden a couple of years ago.
I've seen two episodes and have four to go. Yeah! Keep rockin'!"
Inger Ljung, November 07, 2007
"Just watched the first episode of Flying Confessions and it moved me deeply. Watching it was such an inspiration and made me remember why I love documentaries so much. I work in the television industry in Norway, and I think it's easy to forget sometimes what led me into this business, my dream of making docs that touch people the way your film does.
In two weeks I'm going to Beijing to continue shooting my non-profit documentary about a young woman who's the lead singer of a chinese punk band. I'll be taking the inspiration you gave me with me :-)"
Karen, November 04, 2007
"Dear Jennifer Fox,
I saw the first episode of your documentary FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN on Finnish television last night. Must say I loved it: it was so honest, personal and interesting - and so much more.
I am looking forward to seeing the episodes to follow.
I appreciate the important work you do and wish you all the best."
Paivi Riikonen, November 02, 2007
"Just last night your documentary series FLYING: Confessions of a Free Woman started here in Finland on YLE channel 1, as I'm sure you are aware. After watching it I felt I had to email you and thank you for a very realistic, true and honest potrayal of the modern free woman.
Somehow just the topics the first episode dealt with are the ones that the media usually ignores, or maybe rather choose to ignore. So three cheers for you for brining them out!
At 30, my life hasn't been what has been expected of me by everyone around me, and for the life of me I cannot explain to anyone, least of all to myself, why that is. I don't think i ever made a concious decision to not be in a realtionship or not to get a career, but that is indeed how my life has played out. A few years ago I fell seriously ill and am currently waiting for a couple of major surgeries, and all this has made me think about the same issues you seemed to be dealing with during the start of your filming for the documetary. You talked about being invisible to the world and you being the only one with a memory of your life. I have always felt like that too. All I really want is a witness to my life! Oh and love too... LOL.
Anyways, I'm sure you are not too interested in The Ramblings of A Free Woman! ;) I suppose my point is that it is mind blowing to find out that women of all ages from all over the world seem to deal with these same issues. Thank you again for bringing this out and making what seems like a very, very intersting documetary series. All the best for you in the future, and I hope you will, if you haven't already, find someone to bear witness to your life and share your memories!"
Katja, November 02, 2007
I attended your documentary course about 3 years ago in Finland. I saw the 1st episode of your new film last night, and it made me remember what an huge impact your course had on me few years earlier. As I'm getting closer to my 30's, I've found myself thinking about those exact same things you were underlining in the 1st episode. I've never been those girls who want to get married and have kids. I've always felt trapped with that thought. I managed to fool myself for some time that marriage and kids are what I want in life. But it never felt like me. And the great freedom to choose equals great anxiety. Yet I think we women are more likely to succeed in this diverse modern world. We may have a huge pressure to choose the right things in the right time but at the same time we have the skills to make it through. Biggest of them all is the power of communication. Men in the other hand have a rougher road ahead of them. It is becoming very clear that it's not good to bottle things up inside."
Elisa, November 02, 2007
"I watched your FLYING series over the course of a single day at the beginning of this year. I was thinking about reviewing it for DOX, so they sent the whole series to me, and it really was a remarkable day. I found the series so thought-provoking, and important because of they way it gives us women time to reflect upon our choices -- not in a single half hour, but in a living, breathing series which shows how we are all diffferent, and all the same. In my case, a few years ago I was in my mid-thirties and single. Suddenly in a four year period I found myself with partner and two children. So I made some decisions pretty quickly, and others were made for me. My second baby was born with a terrible brain condition, which left him having constant fits. He was going through a particularly terrible time while I watched your series. So I alternated watching it on a DVD in his hospital room, pausing it to cuddle him during the worst of his fits. And all the time questioning, as you were doing on screen, my life and the path it had taken that led me to this hospital room. I never did write the Dox review, because Dillon died right at the time I was supposed to be writing it. But I wanted to let you know I found it cumatively very moving, and am so glad to have film makers like you out there."
Carol, October 30, 2007
"Hi Jennifer!Thank you for a wonderful movie about women!!I just watched it on Danish television, and I enjoy listening to other women's experiences and lives so much. As you say in the movie, we deal with the same problems all over the world. It is surprising, AND for me it is very reasuring because then I feel as a part of a world wide womens group... that all women all over the world are connected. I love that feeling, and I love to watch, in your movie, that we are so alike and really understand eachother. Thinking of integration for foreign women in Denmark,it is a very wonderful movie because we are all connected and we are all sisters!Thank you again for your movie and all your warmth and all your honesty.Love and greetings from a sister in Denmark."
Henriette Malene Andrup Cavling, October 28, 2007
"I can go on a complete novel with how your film touched me. To tell the truth, I am still going through everything in my mind. It has made me think of a lot of things that have happened to me both past and present. Even going back to the similar experience I had as a young girl that led to my sexual activity... It has made me think a lot of family influences on marrage. You would not believe how badly I was haunted by my family to get married due to the fact that I had kids first. The best one was my Grandmother (straight from old school Germany) telling my now-husband Jamie, "When are you going to make a 'woman' out of her." This was shortly after our 3rd child was born. Truthfully, I think I was pressured into a marrage that I now think was the biggest mistake of my life. Not woman enough was also painfull to me and still haunts me because does it really take being married to be considered a 'woman?'
When it came to touching on the subject of the sex trade, I felt almost sick to my stomache. As long as there are men out there abusing women in this way, we will never be free from it. I myself have not had sex with my husband for over a year because I felt abused. He never hurt me, but he never thought of my plessure or making sure that I was pleasured. So I just stopped having sex with him. It could very well be the end for the two of us, but I feel that I should be including in love-making and not just treated like a vessel for his enjoyment.
Like I said before, I could write an entire novel on this. But I do want you to know that I FULLY enjoyed seeing your film."
Stacie, October 19, 2007
I came across your film on the Huffington Post and am enthralled by the concept. I am hoping to come to the BK screening this Sunday if I can make it, and if I can't, I will be working on a house party screening.
I have visited the website and have all the proper info but wanted to thank you for making this film exploring women's roles and relationships with themselves, their sexuality, with men, other women and how our global sisters deal with these same issues. I am a 27 year old woman living in NYC and feel like our (New Yorkers) experience is so different from the rest of the country and the world.
We are blessed to "have it all" at our fingertips but it's often tough to navigate!
I digress but I look forward to seeing your film."
Jaz, October 9, 2007
I was at your screening in Winnipeg. I just had to write you because I have not been able to stop thinking about your Dad. He really impacted me and how I view myself. You are so lucky to have a father who believes in you like that. I love my father with all of my heart and soul. However, I needed from him what you received from your father growing up. Perhaps then, I wouldn't have so many issues with my career life. I am a late bloomer and am just starting to come into my own. I landed my very first paid contract today as a publicist for a restaurant and the first thing that my dad said to me is, are you sure you can handle it sweetheart. I was really hurt and started to question and doubt my capabilities after that. If your father ever wants to adopt another jewish girl, please tell me. I am low maintenance and have a fabulous sense of humour. You have no idea. I am a great writer too. I would love to stay in touch with you and I know you can't force friendship but would be thrilled to get to know you and your Dad. Great people. My husband Cam that took your course says to say hello and he too would like to stay in touch. I believe he is a creative genius. You as a film maker have to hear his treatments.
Thank you for coming to Winnipeg and sharing your film with us.
I hope we can become friends. Take care and safe travels."
Anrea Zaslov, October 5, 2007
"Hi Ms. Fox,
I think I found a parallel for your "Flying" -- The Wizard of Oz. If you accept the ending premise "there's no place like home" once you felt one with your Mother and Aunt, Oz works. You, of course, are Dorothy. Todo (the innocent dog) is your lost innocence thanks to your track coach (the wicked witch who haunts all women most of the time). Your search is to get home to family is just like Dorothy's to get back to Auntie Em. Your exotic travels to far away places are the Land of Oz and your many girlfriends are the lovable Munchkins. Your men are the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man -- each lovable but somehow incomplete in one way or another (heart, brain, courage...). The Wizard? -- the gynecologist with all his technology who nonetheless can't get you where you want to be.
Thank you for a most provocative series."
Dave Quick, October 3, 2007
"I just tried the 'Passing the Camera' thing last night. I LOVE IT!
Thanks so much for sharing. Thanks for a great session today. Your documentary was so inspiring,
and so were your views, especially the 'Passing the Camera' technique, although I'm sure that many people have told you already. I'm sure that much of my future work will be inspired by you today.
Hope we keep in touch."
Yian, July 14, 2007
"I attended last night's screening and exchanged a few words with you at the after party.
I watched Part 2 this afternoon. It's an extraordinary work! Your own personal and particular story
(as well as your other subjects) reveal much larger universal truths.
I loved your presence on the screen."
Igal, July 5, 2007
Send us Your Confessions about FLYING and your lives, and we'll post them here. Just fill-in the form below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org