Ritzy show ‘icing on cake’ for Brixton film-maker

A Brixton film-maker’s latest documentary will be shown at the Ritzy this week. Simone Richardson previews The Jill of the Trade

portrait of woman
Charysse Tia Harper at the premiere of The Jill of the Trade

Charysse Tia Harper’s short documentary, The Jill of The Trade, presents women from around the world who work in jobs that are usually seen as men’s work.

From a priest in Colombia, to a mining manager in Eritrea, they were filmed and interviewed via Zoom during lockdown.

The film’s West End premiere last month was a great success.

It took place at the Empire Haymarket thanks to a contact Charysse made as a student.

“I worked at the Empire Leicester Square between April 2014 and July 2015 when I was completing my postgraduate degree,” she explains

“Stephen Bush, the general manager I worked with there, is now in charge of Empire Haymarket where I had the premiere.”

Now the film is coming to The Ritzy and is well worth watching.

The Jill of the Trade, which Charysse produced and directed, takes us around the world, zooming down to the earth to show where each woman was interviewed, lived and worked.

Using Zoom, Charysse interviewed and filmed Colombian priest Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjamin, Eritrean mining manager Ruth Negash, Russian software developer Anna Limik, and American plumber Alison Doniger.

Zarifa Ghafari – a female mayor in Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover – could not be contacted with Zoom, so Charysse used a file-sharing app to obtain video of her.

She enjoyed the question and answer session after the first showing. “People were genuinely interested in the journey it took to make the film as well as assisting me in the new journey of promoting it to a wider audience.”

Fortunately for Brixtonians – and anyone local who loves documentaries – Charysse now has a screening in Brixton.

“What I love about the Ritzy is that it has a community feel,” she says.

“You can watch a film, listen to live music, have a chat in the café or simply read a book! The upstairs bar is very comfortable and the staff are very accommodating.

“Since I am a Brixton resident, having the film shown in a local atmosphere is the icing on the cake. I appreciate Ritzy for its support of community members.”

The showing, which starts at 7pm tomorrow (24 November) and following discussion will be a 75-minute event with Charysse and a guest speaker – one of the few British women training to be a commercial pilot, answering questions.

You can get your tickets from the Ritzy in advance.