You Gotta Believe

Why not believe in Her?

You Gotta Believe from Nina Paley on Vimeo.


In this episode of Seder-Masochism, Moses is confronted by the goddesses the Patriarchy is about to crush.

Directed animated etc. by Nina Paley (me)
Music: “You Gotta Believe” written by Norman Whitfield, sung by the Pointer Sisters, circa 1976
Free goddess gifs at

The lyrics are extremely clear in some places and hard to decipher in others. At two points the Pointer Sisters sing, “why don’t you let the Wilson Sisters set you free?”  Who are the Wilson Sisters? Does anyone know? Here are the lyrics I’m confident are accurate:

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?

Tell me brother,

what have I, I, done to you

To make you mean and treat me

the way you do?

Go on and raise your flag,


Start your revolution.

I’m willing to let you do your thing,

Tell me why are you blind when it comes to mine?

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?

Take the chain off your brain

I said,

Take the chain off your brain…


Take a look at yourself…

Don’t (refuse??) something something…

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?

You gotta believe in something

Why not believe in me?….


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

24 thoughts on “You Gotta Believe”

  1. Love love love the animation so much!

    It looks like the Wilson Sisters are characters in the movie Car Wash, where this song was used.

    In case it doesn’t come through, this link is to an excerpt of In The Space Of A Song: The Uses of Song In Film, which mentions the Car Wash moment:

  2. Why “Wilson Sisters”? It because the song was used in the movie “Car Wash” and the Pointers Sisters played a group called The Wilson Sisters.

  3. This is THE BEST! It made my day, if not my week or entire month. I’ll be busting this out during Passover!

  4. Nina wonderful wonderful…I especially love the way the bodies of these goddesses become live flesh animated. They of course represented real variations in female bodies old and very old and gravid, ocasionnaly young but real body and NOT fertility symbols catherine

  5. Honestly, I’m sickened to see how you have posted this. Given my initial exposure to your work via Facebook… let’s say at first I was excited. A speck of truth I thought… As I dove deeper to see who you were and what you are about behind YOUR WORK. I find the rhetoric deeply offensive. I don’t believe you didn’t know who the Wilson Sister are or were as characters in this movie. See I read your piece talking about the Master’s Tools and using them. You are not clever you are part of the MASSIVE problem you think you address. What is blinding and painful is your confusion when you should have conviction. This positioning offends me not because I am BLACK more so because I am a WOMAN. You had to get the soundtrack track to dissect it. You didn’t do any research to see the Movie CARWASH. You don’t know black people are made invisible belittled marginalized DAILY and those who are musically creative are EXPLOITED. Wow, you must live in a bubble under a really cool rock. MOMGOD Mother Nature is disappointed in your study knowing SELF. You need to really stick with what you KNOW just Sin D and Lay D your blinded eyes. WILL sun sis STARS believing in themselves is FAR FAR above and beyond your EMPTY SHELL fish selfish GRASP. Hey but look you got great positioning via the INTERNET. Abysmal abuse plus archetypical.

  6. wonderful music and animated video…I’ve listened to it now about seven times in a row. Can’t get enough. CAR WASH is one of my favorite movies…I’d say top 5. I grew up in Toledo, and Detroit music was my great love and Stax from memphis.

  7. One other point with the lyrics…difference between ‘believe something’ and your ‘believe IN something’ Little editorializing?
    The sisters/Norman W. Should have sung the ‘in’.

  8. This is the best video I have seen for many years. You wake up the old godesses and set them alive. After 2000 years of silence the question is absolutely fair, why dont you believe in me?
    The music feels perfect to this video!

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