Maso et Miso vont en bateau, 1976

55', Betacam numérique PAL, noir et blanc, son

Directed by Carole Roussopoulos, Delphine Seyrig, Ioana Wieder, Nadja Ringart
Production :Les muses s’amusent, France
Humorous reappropriation of Bernard Pivot’s cultural talk show with Françoise Giroud as his guest.

In 1975, to mark International Women’s Year, Bernard Pivot invited Françoise Giroud, France’s Secretary of State for the Condition of Women, to comment on the year’s events during a broadcast titled “The Year of Women, Phew! That’s That.”
The idea behind Pivot’s broadcast was simple. He first showed segments of taped interviews with a number of public figures (José Arthur, radio journalist; Marcel Julian, CEO of the French television station Antenne 2; Pierre Belemarre, journalist; Jacques Martin, television host; Marc Féraud, fashion designer; Marc Linski, yachtsman; Alexandre Sanguinetti; president of the French Chamber of Deputies; and Christian Guy, food columnist), then asked Giroud to discuss their remarks. The Secretary, wanting to be a good sport and play along, affected a semi-worldly attitude, attempting to use humor to deflect Pivot’s questions.
Viewers thus get to hear Giroud say to a surprised Pivot, “Yes, women do have an attitude of being persecuted.” And when the yachtsman Marc Linski mentions “that lot landlubber women are part of,” Giroud archly smiles and lets drop, “You know, there are women who love misogynists.”
At the end of the show, Pivot asks Giroud to offer a parting word. She hems and haws, searching for the right words, “What’s the phrase they use?” then proudly tosses off, “The struggle goes on, comrade.”
Having watched and recorded the broadcast, the Insoumuses, a group of women feminist, decided to do a video parody of the show as a kind of right to respond to one’s critics. The Insoumuses create a counterpoint by introducing signs from the protest march against the instauration of Women’s Year by the UN held on 8 March 1975: “UN Menu, 1974 Hunger, 1975 Women, 1976 Your choice of dessert.” They react directly to what they are seeing and hearing, integrating their own commentary, laughter and songs in response to certain passages.
The Insoumuses use the entire broadcast and respond with a caustic humor to the remarks of both the minister and the show’s guests, most of whom were misogynist men chosen by Pivot. As the Insoumuses point out at the end of the film, they are not interested in Françoise Giroud the person as much as Giroud the representative of the government, in this case the Secretary for the Condition of Women. Throughout the piece, the filmmakers regularly cut away to ironic chapter headings: “Chapter 10, Where Maso Learns to Navigate, or All at Sea Once Again,” and further on, “The Women’s Movement Is Hiding behind Pivot,” or “When Maso Comes Out all Wet.” From time to time the four Insoumuses ironically applaud their minister.
To conclude the broadcast, Pivot had selected a song by Jean Ferrat, “Woman Is Man’s Future.” The Insoumuses rework the original words and dub the singer with a woman’s voice denouncing the exploitation of women.
A closing title rolling down the screen offers a declaration by the Insoumuses indicating that “no female minister can truly represent other women within a patriarchal government. They can only EMBODY THE CONDITION OF WOMEN, shifting between the desire to please (feminization: Maso) and the desire to attain a position of power (masculinization: Miso).” The final sentence of the declaration perfectly describes the political undertaking and exercise in scorched-earth comedic creation which the Insoumuses have just indulged in:
“No image from TELEVISION can embody us. We shall tell our story with VIDEO.”

Nicole Fernandez Ferrer