The Growing Edge
About Signs out of Time
About Marija Gimbutas
Goddess Resource Page
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wonderful! Your film is so compelling, such a creative version
of Marija's ideas, so visually rich and exciting, so accessible.
I was thrilled to see footage of Marija and hear in her own words
what she found.
Brian Tokar, Vermont
Signs out of Time
Reviews & Testimonials / Film
Bios / The Filmmaking Team / Letters
Signs out of Time
Signs Out of Time weaves together interviews, archival
footage, photographs, and narration to portray the scope of
Marija's life and work. Using animation, artifacts, interview
footage of Marija herself, and both her supporters and critics,
we explore her studies, excavations and publications, the depth
and breadth of her scholarship, and the controversy around her
theories. A 58:40 minute documentary, it is available
for order on DVD.
of film interviewees
We have a film bios index page that links
to indivdual pages for each of the many
brilliant historians, activists, feminists and teachers who appear
in Signs Out of Time and Behind the Screen.
The Making of Signs Out of Time
Signs Out of Time was made over a period of ten years by
filmmaker Donna Read and author Starhawk.
Shortly after we began research for the documentary in the early nineties,
Fortunately Delphi Productions had already produced and made available
to Belili a long interview with Marija by Riane
Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade and many
other important works.
Joan Marler, Marija’s editor
and biographer, consulted on the film and helped us piece together
the story of Marija’s life. Interviews with many other scholars,
artists, writers, friends and family of Marija contributed to our
research. We interviewed many of the key voices in the feminist spirituality
movement. Because the time constraints of a documentary did not allow
us to use all that material, we have made much of it available in
the Behind the Screen series.
We also felt it was important to include some of Marija’s critics.
Donna interviewed Sir Colin Renfrew,
from Cambridge University in England, who had originally been one
of Marija’s close friends and allies, but distanced himself
over her Goddess work. We also interviewed Margaret
Conkey and Ruth Tringham, feminist archaeologists at UC Berkeley,
who hold a very nuanced critique of Marija’s work. Their extended
interviews are also available in the Behind
the Screen series.
Signs Out of Time was very much a family effort. Starhawk
and her husband, David
Miller, traveled together to Lithuania to research sites and locations
and do preliminary interviews. David also did background research
on the critics of Marija’s theories.
Nash Read, Donna’s former husband, was the primary cinematographer
on Signs Out of Time. Nash, Donna and their son Jesse, who
functioned as sound man and general tecchie, traveled together to
Lithuania, England and Germany to film in 1999. Nash was a cinematographer
at the National Film Board of Canada for 20 years and continues his
work as an independent videographer in Montreal.
Starhawk and Donna were together, editing and writing commentary,
on September 11, 2001. Starhawk has vivid memories of playing bits
of the film on Donna’s VCR, which would revert back to the news
every time she paused too long to think. The Goddess images and beautiful
scenes of life in the film were constantly interrupted by scenes of
the twin towers falling, the airplanes crashing and the anguish of
survivors and relatives. The juxtaposition of the ancient images of
peace and regeneration with the current reality of war and destruction
deepened our commitment to get this information out to the world.
Technology changed over the decade or more of the making of Signs.
When we began, we shot in 35 mm A16 mm film. Donna was editing on
the old, mechanical equipment. By the end, she had mastered digital
editing, a whole new world. Video technology had improved to the point
that broadcast-quality documentaries can be shot in this much less
expensive medium, and an editing studio can be transported in a laptop.
The most difficult part of making this documentary was funding it.
Because of the success of the Goddess Spirituality Trilogy that Donna
directed and Starhawk helped conceive and write, we expected that
funding would flow our way easily. The trilogy: Goddess Remembered,
Burning Times and Full Circle were in the top ten of sales and
rentals for the National Film Board of Canada for ten years or more.
However, various factors including the defunding of the Film Board,
the backlash against Marija, and the disinclination of cable TV to
fund a documentary on an older woman with an accent, made money hard
to come by.
Instead, we turned to our community. A few large donations and many
small ones, kept us going. We are deeply grateful to all of those
who kept faith with us over the many years it took to bring this documentary
To order Signs Out of Time
visit our ORDER PAGE.
the individual bios and publication lists for the interviewees, visit
our FILM BIOS PAGE.
Behind the Screen
interviewed dozens of people to make Signs Out of Time.
Many of them are prominent artists, thinkers, writers, and scholars
in archaeology, history, and philosophy. Because of the time
constraints in a one-hour documentary, we couldn’t fit
them all in. The choices of quotes in a documentary have less
to do with how brilliant each speaker is and more to do with
how their words serendipitously fit the images and flow of the
story. Some of our very favorite writers, such as Riane Eisler
and Deena Metzger, ended up not being in the documentary. And
even the quotes we used were just a tiny selection of the insight
and wisdom in each interview.
When we were done, we realized what a treasure trove of information
we had, of historic value to the fields of archaeology, religion
and women’s studies. So we have made the extended interviews
available in our series, Behind the Screen.
We had originally made these available on VHS but are no longer
offering those. We are looking into making DVD versions -- stay
These interviews also form the heart of our Goddess
Salons, self-organized discussion and ritual groups where
you can deepen you knowledge of the whole field of Goddess archaeology
and spirituality. The period of monthly salon offerings is over
but we still have the resources available -- see our Goddess
Salons page for information.