Jennifer Abod’s competent, economic docu “The Edge of Each Other’s Battles” illuminates the life and works of black lesbian feminist poet-activist Audre Lorde. Largely shot at a four-day conference held in 1990 as a tribute to Lorde, pic constitutes a fitting coda to her career; during this event, the cancer that would shortly claim the poet’s life in no way diminished her extraordinary eloquence and charisma. Pic also serves as a working model for the edgily interconnected dynamics of race, culture, class and sexuality that distinguish her vision. Docu, making the rounds of black, gay, activist and artistic fests and venues, could ultimately alight on PBS or cable.
Lorde’s realization that commonality of struggle does not necessarily imply that “we beat the same drum” led her to find empowerment in the recognition of difference. Interestingly, during the conference, differences in agendas are continually renegotiated behind the scenes while, onstage, beautifully phrased lesbian declarations follow searing emotional but inchoate discourses about poverty. What comes through most strongly is Lorde’s loving, warm and well-nigh irresistible call to activism: “I am doing my work,” says Lorde. “Are you doing yours?”