Ashira Siegel’s film “Even the Girls” showed at our 2006 festival. “During the time I worked as a messenger in NYC” Ashira says, “I had all these crazy experiences that involved peoples reactions to seeing a woman in a job that most people don’t really expect a woman to work. At the same time we’d get mad props from people as well, but it was also because of our gender. It was bizarre because all the women I knew who were earning their living on their bikes were these amazingly strong, smart, focused, well spoken, really cool women who were drawn to the physicality of messengering and the adrenaline of rushing around the city on our bikes.”
And she had never made a movie before, but she was motivated. ” Riding my bike and messengering in the city changed my life. There is great community among messengers and biking made me strong, not just physically, but in my mind as well. It sharpened my senses and taught me to stand strong and firm, to speak up, even yell if I have to, and not feel bad about it. It gave me a confidence that nothing in my life ever had before. It really empowered me. ”
It wasn’t all fun and games putting the movie together, with a broken camera, damaged footage, re-shooting, and lots of learning, but in the end, Ashira says, the piece became her homage to riding. In short, Ashira declares that riding bikes saved her life, so the least she could do was to make a movie about it.
“I hoped to give voice to, and make room for, these awesome women that I knew, who were living every day, making the city flow, and owning the streets. I hoped to inspire other girls to get on bikes and get empowered in their own lives and ride themselves silly. And I hoped to give people a chance to get over their stereotypes of who could do what, and why.”