DIRECTOR: BARBARA LODEN
CAST: BARBARA LODEN, MICHAEL HIGGINS, DOROTHY SHUPENES, PETER SHUPENES
"'I think that there is a miracle in Wanda,' said Marguerite Duras of Barbara Loden’s 1970 directorial debut, the only film she would write and direct, and that she stars in too. Wanda is a woman who Loden once described as living 'an ugly type existence,' as a wife and mother who abandons her family (and herself too), in pursuit of what exactly? Some sense of self. She is a woman persuaded by what she doesn’t want, killing time and, as it happens, on the lam with a bank robber she barely knows."—Durga Chew-Bose
Groundbreaking American female filmmaker Loden’s lone feature was a vanguard work, a totally uncompromised writer-director-star turn in which she embodies a listless young mother in Pennsylvania coal country who drifts away from her domestic prison and shacks up with perhaps the least glamorous outlaw in cinema history, Michael Higgins’s cantankerous “Mr. Dennis.” A deeply personal work by Loden, herself a child of poor Appalachia, an extraordinary clear-eyed expression of dead-end despondency, a life-marred document of a scuffed, sad, left-behind working-class world—and without question one of the greatest American films of the 1970s.
Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and GUCCI. A Janus Films release.