Ken Wardrop's documentary His & Hers suffers from lack of scope
- Gail Tolley
- 9 March 2011
His & Hers is an attractively filmed, yet narrowly focused documentary that attempts to create a snapshot of a single life of a woman in the Irish Midlands. Director Ken Wardrop knits together more than 60 interviews with women aged between 5 and 90, beginning at birth and progressing to old age, to paint a collective portrait. Whilst he shows a flair for composing attractive shots from everyday subject matter, the overall picture created by His & Hers is strangely outdated and at odds with contemporary times.
The film builds up an archaic idea of the path a woman’s life takes: from discussing boyfriends as a teenager, to marriage, to the birth of a first child. Frustratingly the women talk for the most part in a flippant manner about their relationship with men and are filmed against a domestic backdrop in their own homes, occasionally doing chores such as arranging flowers or laying the table. Issues such as careers, politics, sexuality or anything particularly meaty are almost completely absent. Later on, the film reaches a certain level of poignancy when illness and loss are brought into play but for the most part His & Hers feels like an old-fashioned and limited portrayal of its subject matter.
GFT, Glasgow, 11-17 Mar