9/11/22. One image smeared through time and seared in memory.
Seven Lucky Charms
Seven Lucky Charms (16mm, 16 mins., 1992) is an experimental documentary that weaves together images of women, talismans, and weapons with domestic violence statistics and the true stories of female survivors who have killed their batterers in self-defense. The film intercuts gritty, visceral, black and white imagery with a fragmented, angry woman and her "lucky charms" which function as symbols of an internal support system and empowerment.
The final, dream-like sequence is an exploration of a river bottom filled with extinct, prehistoric skeletons. The subtitled text testifies to the inescapable continuum of abuse against the female gender, whether physical, emotional, cultural, or psychological.
Seven Lucky Charms, is based on extensive data and research on domestic violence in the United States. My specific focus was on why and how women kill their abusive partners, as well as how the legal system is biased against women -especially women of color- who kill in self-defense. In her article, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle,“ USC Professor Holly Willis wrote that "the use of an experimental style to address a serious issue demonstrates Mann’s commitment to art as a force for social change and a response to … injustice.”
Seven Lucky Charms has screened at numerous international and domestic festivals, theatrical venues, and women's shelters. It received several awards:
Student Academy Award, Experimental Category, Silver medal
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Los Angeles, California, 1993
Best Experimental Film, Atlanta Film and Video Festival
Award of Excellence, Ann Arbor Film Festival
Silver Juror's Award, Charlotte Film and Video Festival
Juror's Commendation, Big Muddy Film Festival, Carbondale, Illinois
Seven Lucky Charms, 16 mins. (Clip)