I think that either man or woman, you cannot be afraid of your subject. If you are afraid of something like incest, you can't do a good interview with somebody who's been in that experience and wants to talk about it. And the best example that I can think of happened with In the Shadow of the Stars, where Irving and I were interviewing an African-American opera singer. And in the world of opera, there was a time when there wasn't any place for a black singer, so we wanted to talk to him about this. We got to the point in the interview where I felt that we could do that, and he just opened up and what tumbled out was wonderful, and I was so thrilled with this interview. And when we got the footage back and looked at it, I couldn't believe what I saw. The cameraman was a white guy; as Frederick was talking about what it's like to be a black man in a white world, the camera started pulling back and it just got farther and farther away until you couldn't even see the microphone. He was running away. The cameraman was running away. I cried when I saw that because he ruined the interview. I mean, you want to come closer. You don't want to run away from them, and I learned so much from that, and we did end up using it, but we used it as voice-over. You see him being made up, and it's a real close-up on his face, and the makeup being put on, and you hear his voice. So it turned out okay, but what an illumination for me it was to realize what was happening. And it just hit me. If you're afraid of the subject, you're not going to get a good interview.
As a feminist, you want to bring all those hidden things out and so I'm not afraid to talk to anybody about anything, and I get a good interview. I think that maybe women have a little more handle on the emotional, so we're a little bit less afraid. We haven't been socialized to be afraid of it.
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