Maya Deren – Part I

Meshes of the Afternoon – 1943

The film was shot in 1943 in Los Angeles by Deren’s then-husband, Alexander Hammid, a Hollywood cinematographer and filmmaker himself, and it launched Deren’s career as a staunch proponent of independent and experimental film in the New York indie scene.
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The sound composed by her Japanese husband was added in 1953 (Via)

Elinka at 4 years old Maya Deren

Eleanor (Maya Deren) was around 14 years old when she wrote this poem after an encounter with Gandhi at his lecture in Geneva.


Small in size
Great in belief
Poor in Clothing
Rich in Will
Withered in body
Full with purpose
Scarce in beauty
Overflowing with wisdom
That is Gandhi

(From The Legend of Maya Deren, a documentary biography and collected works, page 86)

Eleanora (Maya) Deren was born in Kiev, Russia and came to USA as a child.
Studied in France and Geneva. B.A from NYU and Master’s from Smith College. She has been a reporter, a radio scriptwriter and a translater. Worked as a secretary to Katherine Dunham and her dance group.
Her earlier interest was in folkdancing and cultural expressions of diverse nationalities and races. She wrote papers as a graduate student of anthropology.