A film by Joan Braderman

2009 | 95 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 101005


Tracing the influence of the Women’s Movement’s Second Wave on art and life, THE HERETICS is the exhilarating inside story of the New York feminist art collective that produced “Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics” (1977-92). In this feature-length documentary, cutting-edge video artist/writer/director Joan Braderman, who joined the group in 1975 as an aspiring filmmaker, charts the collective’s challenges to terms of gender and power and its history as a microcosm of the period’s broader transformations.

On the road with her camera crew from New Mexico to Italy, Braderman reconnects with 28 other group members, including writer/critic Lucy Lippard, architect Susanna Torre, filmmaker Su Friedrich, and artists Ida Applebroog, Mary Miss, Miriam Schapiro, and Cecilia Vicuña. Still funny, smart and sexy, the geographically dispersed participants revisit how and why they came together and the extraordinary times they shared—supporting and exploring women’s art and demanding the right to be heard.

Enlivened by striking digital motion graphics, THE HERETICS intercuts interviews with archival film clips, video and stills from the period, texts and images from “Heresies” magazines, and footage of completed artworks and works-in-progress. An exuberant, multi-layered collage, the film brings the Heresies collective—and its strategies for unlocking the potential in women’s lives—vividly to the screen.


“Ms. Braderman intercuts the story of the magazine and of second-wave feminism with recent interviews with the women. Thirty-odd years later, they’re just as passionate and engaged. It’s a pleasure to spend time in their company.”

Rachel Saltz The New York Times

“Skillfully crafted…invigorates feminism, art, and politics. Captures a fertile and effervescent past that is a model for young activist-artists of today. A compelling powerhouse example of feminism’s creative force.”

Ariel Dougherty On the Issues

“Upbeat and affirmative…The stories these women tell envision a radically different moment in art-world history, one in which questions of career and market are barely mentioned, and philosophical arguments are firmly grounded in street-level politics.”


“THE HERETICS uncovers the inside story of the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement,…chart[ing] the history of a feminist collective from the inside out.”

Broad Strokes

“A wonderful experience all-in-all. It is a thorough but lively study of the excitement of feminism, arts and ideas...following the magazine's rollout in 1977 in New York to closure in 1993.”

Condy Cooper Words of Choice

“A brilliant job of painting a large, vivid image of feminism past and present…[t]he richness of these women, their lives, and their stories make multiple viewings a must.”


"A charming documentary"

Ms. Magazine

“Recommended….This film will be of most interest to women’s studies classes.”


"THE HERETICS is a particularly good choice for those educators interested in showing a film in conjunction with a discussion of second wave feminism in the art world…"

Signs Journal of Women in Culture & Society

“Informative and amusing.…heartening….Recommended.”

Video Librarian


  • Nominated as a 2011 ALA “Notable Video for Adults”
  • World Premiere, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • Katzen Center and Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
  • NewFest, The New York LGBT Film Festival
  • Frameline, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival
  • Calgary Int'l Film Festival
  • image+nation LGBT Film Festival, Montreal


Joan Braderman

Joan Braderman, award-winning video artist and writer, has been involved with film and video as a screenwriter, artist and producer for over twenty-five years. Born in Washington, DC, she holds degrees from Harvard and New York University. Her works are held in the permanent collections of museums such as the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Joan studied 16mm filmmaking in school, learning to shoot and edit black and white reel-to-reel video in NYC in the early 70′s at various Media Access Centers. In 1975, Joan joined the group that founded ground breaking journal, HERESIES: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics. (8/14)


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