Marceline. A Woman. A Century

MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY is a fascinating portrait of the persevering French filmmaker, writer, and Holocaust survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018). Marceline was only 15 when both she and her father, a Polish Jew from Lódź, were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived but her father didn’t, and Marceline had to find radical and unconventional ways to heal after the tragedies of the war. In 1961, she appeared in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s landmark film Chronicle of a Summer, which gave birth to the term cinema verité. Later she married the legendary Dutch documentary director Joris Ivens, traveled with him to Vietnam, and co-directed films such as 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968) and How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976). Filmed as she was nearing 90 years old and living in Paris, MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY spans the broad arc of her life from Holocaust survivor to political activist to combatively critical filmmaker. Looking back on the momentous events she experienced and filmed such as the Algerian and Vietnam Wars and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, MARCELINE is a thought-provoking chronicle of a remarkable witness of the 20th century.
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All We've Got

ALL WE’VE GOT is an insightful personal exploration of LGBTQI women’s communities, cultures, and social justice work through the lens of the spaces they create, from bars to bookstores to arts and political hubs. Social groups rely on physical spaces to meet and build connections, step outside oppressive social structures, avoid policing and violence, share information, provide support, and organize politically. Yet, in the past decade, more than 100 bars, bookstores, art and community spaces where LGBTQI women gather have closed. In ALL WE’VE GOT, filmmaker Alexis Clements travels the country to explore the factors driving the loss of these spaces, understand why some are able to endure, and to search for community among the ones that remain. From a lesbian bar in Oklahoma; to the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center in San Antonio run by queer Latinas; to the WOW Café Theatre in New York; to the public gatherings organized by the Trans Ladies Picnics around the US and beyond; to the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, the film takes us into diverse LGBTQI spaces and shines a light on why having a place to gather matters. Ultimately, ALL WE’VE GOT is a celebration of the history and resilience of the LGBTQI community and the inclusive spaces they make, as well as a call to action to continue building stronger futures for all communities.
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I Am the Revolution

I AM THE REVOLUTION is an empowering portrait of three determined women in the Middle East who are leading the fight for gender equality and freedom. Politician Selay Ghaffar is one of the most wanted people in the world by the Taliban and yet she still travels through Afghanistan to educate other women about their rights. Rojda Felat is a commander of the Syrian Democratic Army, leading 60,000 troops to defeat ISIS, including freeing their hold on Raqqa and rescuing its people. And Yanar Mohammed, named by the BBC as one of 100 most influential women in the world in 2018, pushes for parliamentary reform in Iraq while running shelters for abused women. Despite battling seemingly overwhelming obstacles, all three women display resilience, bravery and compassion. I AM THE REVOLUTION challenges the images of veiled, silent women in the Middle East and instead reveals the extraordinary strength of women rising up on the front lines to claim their voice and their rights.
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Atomic Homefront

ATOMIC HOMEFRONT shines an urgent and devastating light on the lasting toxic effects that nuclear waste can have on communities. The film reveals St. Louis, Missouri's past as a uranium processing center for the atomic bomb, and the governmental and corporate negligence that lead to the illegal dumping of radioactive Manhattan Project waste throughout North County neighborhoods. Focusing on a group of moms-turned-advocates, the film follows the women as they confront the EPA, government agencies that are slow to provide aid, and the corporations behind the illegal dumping of dangerous radioactive waste in their backyards. Both a harrowing indictment of institutional misconduct and a tribute to the heroism of mothers fighting to protect their families, ATOMIC HOMEFRONT is essential viewing for anyone interested in environmental grassroots activism, government and corporate responsibility, and the effects of nuclear waste on human health.
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The Rest I Make Up

Maria Irene Fornes was one of America's greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many know her only as the ex-lover of writer and social critic Susan Sontag. The visionary Cuban-American dramatist constructed astonishing worlds onstage, writing over 40 plays and winning nine Obie Awards. At the vanguard of the nascent Off-Off Broadway experimental theater movement in NYC, Fornes is often referred to as American theater's "Mother Avant-Garde." When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration that picks up where the pen left off. The duo travels from New York to Havana, Miami to Seattle, exploring the playwright's remembered past and their shared present. Theater luminaries such as Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Lanford Wilson, and others weigh in on Fornes's important contributions. What began as an accidental collaboration becomes a story of love, creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting.
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A Thousand Girls Like Me

A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is an awe-inspiring vérité documentary that tells the story of a young Afghan woman’s brave fight to seek justice and protect her children after experiencing years of abuse at the hands of her father. Khatera Golzad’s father physically and sexually abused her for more than thirteen years, and after several aborted pregnancies, she gave birth to a daughter and a son. Despite her many attempts to file charges, neither the Afghan police nor the legal system helped her. In 2014, she appeared on national television to publicly accuse her father, finally succeeding in bringing her case to court despite threats from male relatives and judges who labelled her a liar. Shedding light on the broken Afghan judicial system and the women it seldom protects, A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is the story of one woman’s battle against cultural, familial, and legal pressures as she embarks on a mission to set a positive example for her daughter and other girls like her. In a country where the systematic abuse of girls is rarely discussed, Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani’s film is ultimately a story of bravery, love, hope and resilience.
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93Queen

93QUEEN is the inspirational story of Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a no-nonsense Hasidic lawyer and mother of six who is determined to shake up the boy’s club in her community by creating Ezras Nashim, the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. In the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, EMS corps have long been the province of men. Though the neighborhood is home to the largest volunteer ambulance corps in the world, that organization has steadfastly banned women from its ranks. Now Ruchie and a group of tenacious Hasidic women are risking their reputations and the futures of their children to provide dignified emergency medical care to the Hasidic women and girls of Borough Park. Through it all, we see them grappling to balance their faith with their nascent feminism, even as they are confronted by the patriarchal attitudes that so dominate Hasidic society. With unprecedented insider access, 93QUEEN offers a unique portrayal of a group of empowered religious women who are taking matters into their own hands to change their own community from within.
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Councilwoman

COUNCILWOMAN is the inspiring story of Carmen Castillo, an immigrant Dominican housekeeper in a Providence hotel who wins a seat in City Council, taking her advocacy for low-income workers from the margins to city politics. The film follows Castillo’s first term as she balances her full-time day job as a housekeeper with her family life and the demands of public office. She faces skeptics who say she doesn’t have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15 hourly wage, and a tough re-election against two contenders. As Castillo battles personal setbacks and deep-rooted notions of who is qualified to run for political office, she fiercely defends her vision of a society in which all people can earn enough to support themselves and their families. An eye-opening look at entrenched power in American democracy, COUNCILWOMAN is essential viewing for Latinx, Immigrant, Political Science and Labor Studies courses.
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Lovesick

In India, where marriage is a must but AIDS carries a stigma, what are HIV-positive people to do? After discovering India’s first case of HIV in 1986, Dr. Suniti Solomon left a prestigious academic post to found India’s premier HIV/AIDS clinic. Twenty-five years later, India now produces its own anti-retroviral medications, enabling Dr. Solomon’s patients to live longer – and face the pressure to marry. At the age if seventy-two, and in the twilight of her bold and unconventional career, Dr. Solomon has taken on a new role: marriage matchmaker. Like other Indian matchmakers, Dr. Solomon matches by religion, education, and income; but she also matches by white blood cell counts and viral loads. For her, this isn’t just about romance – it is a way to stem the spread of HIV and fight stigma. LOVESICK interweaves Dr. Solomon’s personal and professional journeys with the lives of two patients: Karthik, a reticent bachelor, and Manu who, like many women in India, was infected by her first husband. As Karthik and Manu search for love, they learn how to survive under the shadow of HIV. Shot over eight years and told with humor and compassion, LOVESICK is a surprising and hopeful story about the universal desire for love.
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Home Truth

Filmed over the course of nine years, HOME TRUTH chronicles one family’s pursuit of justice, shedding light on how our society responds to domestic violence and how the trauma from domestic violence tragedies can linger throughout generations. In 1999, Colorado mother Jessica Gonzales experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her three young daughters were killed after being abducted by their father in violation of a domestic violence restraining order. Devastated, Jessica sued her local police department for failing to adequately enforce her restraining order despite her repeated calls for help that night. Determined to make sure her daughters did not die in vain, Jessica pursued her case to the US Supreme Court and an international human rights tribunal, seeking to strengthen legal rights for domestic violence victims. When her legal journey finally achieved widespread national change and she became an acclaimed activist, Jessica struggled to put her life and relationships back together.
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Primas

PRIMAS is an evocative and poetic portrait of two Argentine teenage cousins who come of age together as they overcome the heinous acts of violence that interrupted their childhoods. When Rocío was 10 years old, she was dragged from her bike by a stranger, raped, set on fire and left for dead. Now a teenager, she still grapples with memories of the nightmarish assault that left her body scarred. Together with her cousin Aldana, who was sexually abused for years by her own father, she lives, laughs and shares her story. Traveling through Argentina and Montreal, the two cousins embark upon a program of theater, dance, and circus that helps them process complex emotions. Little by little, they manage to rebuild the lives that were so brutally stolen from them and free themselves from the shadows of their past. A humanistic exploration of familial love, creativity, and courage in the wake of sexual violence, PRIMAS is a moving tribute to the deep strength of resilient women.
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Yours in Sisterhood

YOURS IN SISTERHOOD is a performative, participatory documentary inspired by the breadth and complexity of letters that were sent in the 1970s to the editor of Ms.- America's first mainstream feminist magazine. The film documents hundreds of strangers from around the U.S. who were invited to read aloud and respond to these letters written by women, men and children from diverse backgrounds. Collectively, the letters feel like an encyclopedia of both the 70s and the women's movement- an almost literal invocation of the second-wave feminist slogan "the personal is political." The intimate, provocative, and sometimes heartbreaking conversations that emerge from these performances invite viewers to think about the past, present, and future of feminism.
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Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind

EXIT is a personal and urgent look at the ways people legitimize hatred and the threats they face when they attempt to leave their radicalized worlds behind. Paralleling her own past as part of a violent right-wing organization with the experiences of other former extremists, filmmaker Karen Winther explores what makes someone join neo-Nazis, Jihadists or other hate groups, and what makes them decide to leave. Winther introduces us to Angela from the US and Ingo and Manuel from Germany, all ex-right-wing extremists who made the leap to abandon their movement and now must live isolated lives in hiding. In Denmark, we witness the other side of the spectrum when former violent left-wing extremist Søren shares the story of his life. Winther also travels to France to meet a French former jihadist. Through these intimate conversations, Winther examines how and why some radicalized people, when confronted with the realisation that everything they once firmly believed is wrong, gather the courage to embark on extraordinary journeys to turn their lives around.
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The Feeling of Being Watched

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counter terrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named "Operation Vulgar Betrayal." With unprecedented access, THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community-including her own family-fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened and takes the FBI to federal court to compel them to make the records they collected about her community public. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.
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Birth on the Border

This intimate and personal documentary follows two women from Ciudad Juárez as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border legally to give birth in Texas, putting their hearts and bodies on the line as they confront harassment at the hands of U.S. border officials. One million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day in both directions. Among them are women who cross for the purposes of childbirth. With the threat of obstetrical violence in Mexican hospitals and the desire for natural birth with midwives, Gaby and Luisa make the difficult decision to cross the border to El Paso, seeking a safer future for their children. Even with papers, their journeys are uncertain. Against the backdrop of oppressive U.S. border policy and growing debates over immigration, these women's stories of risk, strength, and resilience shed light on the realities and challenges of life on the border.
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Shadow Girl

SHADOW GIRL is the extraordinary story of a filmmaker struggling with the prospect of losing her vision. While editing her last film in Toronto, Chilean-born filmmaker María Teresa Larraín suddenly begins to go blind. After she’s denied disability benefits by the Canadian government, she returns home to Chile. There, inspired by the resilience and wisdom of the blind street vendors she meets, María Teresa confronts her fears and steps courageously into her new life while reclaiming her dignity and her voice as an artist. This powerful and poetic film raises complex questions about art and “vision,” able and dis-abled, and poverty and privilege.
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Defiant Lives

DEFIANT LIVES is a triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement. It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate. Featuring interviews and rarely seen archival footage, the film reveals how these activists fought to live outside of institutions, challenged the stigmas and negative image of disability portrayed by the media, demanded access to public transportation, and battled to reframe disability rights as a social responsibility relevant to us all. DEFIANT LIVES is an excellent tool to encourage discussions about diversity and disability for students, audiences and community groups.
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Geek Girls

Nerdy women - the "hidden half" of fan culture - open up about their lives in the world of conventions, video games, and other rife-with-misogyny pop culture touchstones. While geek communities have recently risen to prominence, very little attention is paid to geek women. Filmmaker Gina Hara, struggling with her own geek identity, explores the issue with a cast of women who live geek life up to the hilt: A feminist geek blogger, a convention-trotting cosplayer, a professional gamer, a video-game designer, and a NASA engineer. Through their personal experiences in the rich cultural explosion of nerdom, GEEK GIRLS shows both the exhilaration of newfound community and the ennui of being ostracized. These women, striving in their respective professions and passions, face the cyberbullying, harassment, and sexism that permeate the culture and the industry at large. A rich conversation-starter for any class on Pop Culture and Feminism.
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Ohero:kon - Under the Husk

OHERO:KON - UNDER THE HUSK follows two Mohawk girls on their journey to become Mohawk women. Friends since childhood, Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are members of the traditional community of Akwesasne on the U.S./Canada border. Together, they undertake a four-year rite of passage for adolescents, called Oheró:kon, or “under the husk.” The ceremony had been nearly extinct, a casualty of colonialism and intergenerational trauma; revived in the past decade by two traditional leaders, it has since flourished. Filmmaker Katsitsionni Fox has served as a mentor, or “auntie,” to many youth going through the passage rites. In UNDER THE HUSK, Fox shares two girls’ journey through adolescence, as they rise to the tasks of Oheró:kon, learning traditional practices such as basket making and survival skills as well as contemporary teachings about sexual health and drug and alcohol prevention. UNDER THE HUSK is a personal story of a traditional practice challenging young girls spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, shaping the women they become.
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White Right: Meeting the Enemy

In this Emmy-winning documentary, acclaimed Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan meets U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists including Richard Spencer face to face and attends the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S. Speaking with fascists, racists and proponents of alt-right ideologies, Deeyah, attempts to discover new possibilities for connection and solutions. As she tries to see beyond the headlines to the human beings, her own prejudices are challenged and her tolerance tested. When she finds herself in the middle of America's biggest and most violent far right rally in recent years, Deeyah's safety is jeopardized. Can she find it within herself to try and befriend the fascists she meets? With a U.S. president propagating anti-Muslim propaganda, the far-right gaining ground in German elections, hate crime rising in the UK, and divisive populist rhetoric infecting political and public discourse across western democracies, WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY asks why. The film is an urgent, resonant and personal look at race wars in America.
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Feminista: A Journey to the Heart of Feminism in Europe

FEMINISTA is a lively and inspiring feminist road movie that explores the largely unrecognized yet hugely vibrant pan European feminist movement. Filmmaker Myriam Fougère joined an international group of young feminists who were traveling across twenty countries – from Turkey to Portugal, by the way of the Balkans, to Italy, Spain and Portugal – to make connections and unite forces with other women. She witnessed these determined activists participating in political gatherings, supporting homegrown local feminist struggles, exchanging strategies, and inventing new ways to resist and fight for change. Revealing how feminism is transmitted from one generation to another, FEMINISTA provides a rare glimpse into a widespread feminist groundswell movement, possibly one of the largest and unrecognized mass political movements that is very much alive and well throughout Europe today.
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