Belladonna with Ida Applebroog (1989)
Duration: 12 minutes
Artists Beth B. and Ida Applebroog use videotaped performance combined with figurative drawing and captions to create a disturbing, provocative program about the unthinkable yet prevalent occurrence of child victimization. The script for the program is delivered in brief monologues by a cast of several men and women reading statements from various texts, including the writings of Freud and the testimonies of Josef Mengele's victims. It is then intercut with a boy's voice repeating "I am not a bad person" to powerful and moving effect.
In black and white and color, this work plays short sentences and phrases off one another. Spoken texts include excerpts from Joel Steinberg's 1988 trial, testimonies from Josef Mengele's victims, and Sigmund Freud's case history of 1919 "A Child Is Being Beaten."