WHERE WE STAND

Directed by
Kristine Stolakis

The Mormon feminists fighting for women’s right to join the priesthood

Inspired by arts and its ability to communicate complicated ideas without having to come to perfect conclusions and humanitarian work, director Kristine Solakis found her calling in documentary field.

'When one of the women in my film was excommunicated from the Mormon church, the news made the New York Times. I read the article with such genuine interest, empathy, and curiosity. Who are these women calling themselves Mormons and feminists? Is that a thing? Can that be a thing? I was raised Catholic, and my upbringing made it so hard for me to conceptualize a women's rights movement within a conservative church. I think because of that, the story also felt so modern. In our current time, ideas around women's rights exist in really diverse spheres. The work felt important to document, so I immediately started the process of reaching out.'

The film portrays the ever returning theme of moral struggle of believer that applies to any modern church - between what is said to be the right thing, the word of God, and what feels right. Or wrong.

I love the opening quote of the film, which is from a Mormon hymnal. 'Do what is right, and let the consequence follow.' 

'In essence, I think the film is about the fact that doing the right thing isn't always easy. I think people are often searching for how to do the right thing in their lives. We are taught to be good people, but then various forces in society (churches, government, families, spouses) give us conflicting views of what that means. These women in the film, who are fighting for women to have the right to be priests in Mormonism like all men above the age of 12 already have the right to be, are listening to a voice inside of them, many of whom attribute to being a spiritual voice, that says that this situation as is isn't right.'

'Spending time with these women was a joy. Learning about their view on the world, their lives, and their work was fascinating. I'm so glad others will get to meet them as well.'

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