​Samstag's Joanna Kitto speaks with filmmakers/artists Margot Nash, Pat Fiske and Alex Martinis Roe.

Margot Nash, Shadow Panic (1989)


Margot Nash’s 1989 short Shadow Panic screens alongside Pat Fiske’s 1986 documentary Rocking the Foundations for FEMINISM IN FILM, a series that runs in parallel with Alex Martinis Roe: To Become Two.

Shadow Panic is a surrealist experimental film exploring internal and external states of emergency, resistance and personal and collective ‘shadows'. It revolves around three women—The Redhead, The Investigator and The Hothead—whose world’s collide by chance as they move through their separate but interconnected worlds.

Rocking the Foundations explores the controversial New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) from the perspective of one of its first female members. Fiske develops a portrait of this once-powerful union through interviews with former union members and officials, archival film, and television news coverage of some of its actions.

We spoke to the filmmakers about their seminal works.


This conversation was recorded Friday 27 August.
Margot Nash & Pat Fiske were in Sydney, the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Alex Martinis Roe was in Naarm/Melbourne, the land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples of the Kulin Nation. Joanna Kitto was in Tarntanya/Adelaide, on Kaurna Country.
All wish to acknowledge Elders past and present, whose lands upon which we speak.


Margot Nash became involved in film and moved to Sydney in the early 1970s where she joined the Sydney Filmmakers Cooperative and began freelancing in the independent film sector. From her base in Sydney, she continues to produce, write and direct award-winning films. She is currently a Visiting Fellow in Communications at the University of Technology Sydney.

Pat Fiske is a director, producer and prominent member of Australia's independent filmmaking community. Born in the US, she moved to Australia in 1971 and worked as a builders' labourer, becoming involved in the BLF and Sydney Filmmakers Cooperative. She won a Walkley Award in 2001 for her film Business Behind Bars.

Alex Martinis Roe is a Samstag scholar living and working in Naarm/Melbourne. From 2013–2016, she undertook post-doctoral research at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, examining feminist genealogies and seeking to foster relationships between different generations as a way of participating in the construction of feminist histories and futures. 

To Become Two is an exploration of feminist political practices. Across six films, the work tells the stories of feminist collectives from Barcelona, Milan, Paris, Sydney and Utrech, linked by a shared relationship to ‘sexual difference’ and ‘feminist new materialist’ theories. Together, they become a manifesto for addressing the importance of inter-generational feminisms, and the power held in relationships and communities with a shared agenda. Alex Martinis Roe: To Become Two is showing at Samstag until 1 Oct 2021.



Saturday 28 August
Mercury Cinema

FEMINISM IN FILM is supported by the South Australian Government through Arts South Australia.

Read Samstag scholar Kate Power on Les Rendez-vous d'Anna here.


Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, acknowledges the Kaurna people as traditional custodians of the land upon which the Museum stands.