Showing strength in the face of oppression can take many forms. Sometimes it involves writing hundreds of words and disseminating them to the masses. Sometimes it involves holding-up a sign and chanting a direct message with a crowd. It can be a grand gesture, or a small gesture – the point is that one makes a gesture. At the end of the day, non-compliance can take many forms…perhaps even something as simple as getting on one’s bike and taking a ride.

The Ovarian Psycos are a community of women in Southern California. Primarily latino, they gather, talk, support each-other, and celebrate their strength by riding through the streets of Los Angeles on their bikes. The movement is very DIY and empowering and this is film is a document of that movement.

Spending time with the woman of The Ovarian Psycos, we see how much support and strength they get just from being with one-another. They find strength in numbers and learn great lessons just by sharing experiences. As usual, guys have trouble dealing with such empowerment, but The Psycos have little time to nurture any hurt feelings. Their hands are too full trying to break the cycle of patriarchy that permeates the latino community, and stem the brutal-and-sometimes-lethal violence that can come with it.

However, just like any movement, there is dissent. The Psycos don’t always agree on the best line of attack on any given issue, nor the best way to maintain their own community. It can be difficult to balance ideas and feelings in any group dynamic, and the doc doesn’t shy away from the discourse.

In the lategoing, OVARIAN PSYCOS takes a turn that I don’t want to reveal. What I will say is that the turn’s inclusion in this film is a bold stroke in documenting the community. As we stand-up to be counted with such organizations, or pick up the flag to wave it for ourselves, we accept that we are putting a collective before ourselves as individuals. However, what one of the members in the Ovarian Psycos seems to want to remind us is that there are moments where the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many…and that sometimes we can do just as much good by nodding and just raising a fist as the march goes by.


OVARIAN PSYCOS plays at Hot Docs 2016 once more – tonight, Friday May 6th at The Scotiabank Theatre – 9:30pm (official website)