Anne Colton & Michelle Yates
Anne Colton has over 30 years of filmmaking experience, including starting out in the industry as the only female online editor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1989-1991). Anne’s last film Jordanville (2017) aired nationally on PBS and is available for viewing on Amazon Prime.
Michelle Yates is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Columbia College Chicago. Michelle is also the co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Feminist Film Festival.
The goal of the REBEL BELLS documentary is to capture the girls and their moms in their own voices as well as to contextualize the urban environment in which the girls and women live, including environmental pollution. In this respect, this film is intended to embody the kind of feminist, consciousness raising documentary film popular in the 1970s and now making a comeback in the 21st century. As film scholar Julia Lesage argues, women’s bodies and minds are colonized under patriarchal society, and there is power in feminist documentary filmmaking for helping women to re-possess their own narratives. This film intends to highlight the importance of centering women’s voices that are otherwise silenced in patriarchal society, and within a film industry that traditionally centers men's narratives, including male directors and male characters.
REBEL BELLS is a documentary short film about an all-girls radical collective in the Calumet region, learning about social justice and community activism in a community still dealing with the fallout of deindustrialization and disinvestment. Started in 2016 by three mothers who are leaders in the environmental justice movements in their own communities, the Rebel Bells collective empowers and guides the girls to take ownership over the curriculum, lead the group's meetings and activities and devise their own ways to speak for their community and seek the justice, investment and care they deserve.
REBEL BELLS is a film about an all-girls collective whose members reside in southeast side Chicago, specifically in the neighborhood of Hegewisch. This is a predominantly working-class, Latinx Chicago neighborhood that is disproportionately burdened with industry and industrial pollution. The women that started the Rebel Bells collective are leaders in the environmental justice movement in this community.
The young women in REBEL BELLS work hard to make sure their neighborhood has a fair chance to survive and thrive in the shadow of the former steel mills that drastically changed the land they live on.
To learn more about the southeast side of Chicago, visit the Southeast Chicago Historical Society
See more from co-Director Anne Colton at annecoltonvideo.com