The Veil (2012) is a multi-channel, hybrid documentary & fictional narrative project that uses vignettes, anachronisms, and imaged histories to consider gender and sexuality as it relates to Mormonism. This project was supported by University at Albany research and travel grants.
All components of the video have been combined here.
Description from video site:
“History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That's why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices.”
The Veil grapples with the issues of gender and sexual identity as they relate to Mormon dogma and social dynamics. The project stems from my interest in centralizing identities that exist on the peripheries of a defined mainstream. In this case, Mormonism provides an institutional mainstream to be rallied against. Gender and sexuality become the key focal points in a religion that places restrictions on both.
Using the license of conjecture and the lens of modernity, The Veil imagines feminist and queer moments in Mormon history. In this retelling: Mormonism is the product of a rebellious farm girl, Mormon baptisms for the dead are a device for exercising patriarchal power, etc.
The documentary footage in The Veil highlights issues related to the church in modern-times. Interviewees reflect on modern challenges that pervade Mormon beliefs, history, and culture.
Neither a fictional narrative nor a documentary, The Veil transcends genre – using elements of fact and fiction – to possess a hybrid cinematic space. Altogether, this project – in form and content – is about rupturing in status quo.