Remembering Thelma

Guggenheim Award-winning filmmaker Kathe Sandler provides viewers with a lively profile of dance instructor and performer Thelma Hill. The film contains rare footage of original Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the New York Negro Ballet of the 1950s.
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Mitsuye and Nellie

This absorbing documentary examines the lives of Asian Americans through the inspirational poetry of Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong. Interviews, rare archival footage, intimate family scenes and a lively dialogue between these fascinating women underscore the different histories of Chinese and Japanese Americans but also shared experiences of biculturalism and generational difference. Ideal for literature and poetry classes, women's studies and Asian American groups.
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Susana

In this autobiographical portrait, Susana leaves her native Argentina to live her life outside the strictures of Latin American cultural and family pressures. Susana interweaves cinema vérité interviews of her family and lovers with snapshots, home movies and even a Disney cartoon to render the cultural context in which female, sexual and ethnic identity is shaped.
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Some American Feminists

SOME AMERICAN FEMINISTS explores one of the most significant social histories of this century-the second wave of the women's movement-and is a fascinating flashback on the women's liberation agenda in the light of 1990s backlash. Inspirational interviews with Ti-Grace Atkinson, Rita Mae Brown, Betty Friedan, Margo Jefferson, Lila Karp and Kate Millett are intercut with newsreel footage of the tumultuous sixties and early seventies. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, Some American Feminists is critical viewing for all those interested in women's studies, history and social studies.
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...But Then, She's Betty Carter

This lively film is an unforgettable portrait of legendary vocalist Betty Carter, one of the greatest living exponents of jazz. Uncompromised by commercialism throughout her long career, she has forged alternative criteria for success — including founding her own recording company and raising her two sons as a single parent. Parkerson's special film captures Carter's musical genius, her paradoxical relationship with the public and her fierce dedication to personal and artistic independence.
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Surviva

A refreshing weave of documentary, animation and nature montage examining the woman artist's relationship to work and community. An Artemisia and Women Make Movies co-production.
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Why Women Stay

This documentary examines the complex reasons why women remain in violent homes and challenges the prevailing attitudes which accept domestic violence as well as the social structures which perpetuate it. Among the issues examined are the attitudes of battered women, the lack of funding for shelters and the support battered women find in a shelter environment. Although produced more than ten years ago in a low budget format, this film still offers a complex analysis of an enduring social problem. With gratitude to the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at NYU, a digital preservation copy of this film now available for exhibition! Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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A Jury of Her Peers

On a desolate American farm in the early 1900's, a farmer is found murdered in his sleep and his wife is jailed as the prime suspect. A powerful adaptation of the 1917 Susan Glaspell short story of the same name, based on her play "Trifles", A JURY OF HER PEERS presents a riveting tale of revenge, justice and women’s shared experience. Equally relevant in women’s studies courses and for use with organizations battling violence against women, this riveting feminist classic probes the notion of women’s victimization and justifiable homicide and opens the possibility for the creation of an alternate, feminist justice and judgment. Two women, a neighbor and the sheriff’s wife, find themselves in the accused woman’s kitchen while the prosecuting attorney and their husbands search the farm for motive for the crime. As the camera lingers on small details in the kitchen – spilled sugar, a broken chair, crooked stitches in a quilt piece – the motive becomes clear as the suspect’s isolated life of physical and emotional abuse is revealed. As each new clue further incriminates the accused, the women must decide whether to reveal the evidence against her and become, in effect, a jury of her peers.
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After the Earthquake

This dramatic story follows a young Nicaraguan immigrant, Irene, as she faces the challenges of life in the U.S. and re-evaluates her relationships with her boyfriend and family. AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE explores the immigrant experience, particularly the cultural, political and economic differences between life in North and Latin America. Written with Nina Serrano, Lourdes Portillo was nominated for an Academy Award for her next film, LAS MADRES DE LA PLAZA DE MAYO, produced with Susana Munoz.
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Killing Time/Fannie's Film

Part of the mediamaking movement that first gave centrality to the voices and experiences of African American women during the late Seventies and early Eighties, these two re-releases are no less groundbreaking today. KILLING TIME, an offbeat, wryly humorous look at the dilemma of a would-be suicide unable to find the right outfit to die in, examines the personal habits, socialization, and complexities of life that keep us going. In FANNIE'S FILM, a 65-year-old cleaning woman for a professional dancers' exercise studio performs her job while telling us in voiceover about her life, hopes, goals, and feelings. A challenge to mainstream media's ongoing stereotypes of women of color who earn their living as domestic workers, this seemingly simple documentary achieves a quiet revolution: the expressive portrait of a fully realized individual.
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Thriller

Now digitally remastered! Sally Potter’s cult classic rewrites Puccini’s La Boheme to ask why the woman always has to die.
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Chicana

CHICANA traces the history of Chicana and Mexican women from pre-Columbian times to the present. It covers women's role in Aztec society, their participation in the 1810 struggle for Mexican independence, their involvement in the US labor strikes in 1872, their contributions to the 1910 Mexican revolution and their leadership in contemporary civil rights causes. Using murals, engravings and historical footage, CHICANA shows how women, despite their poverty, have become an active and vocal part of the political and work life in both Mexico and the United States.
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Your Children Come Back to You

YOUR CHILDREN COME BACK TO YOU is a contemporary allegory about values and assimilation. The film literalizes the meaning of a "mother country" by means of the story of a young girl, Tovi, torn between two surrogate mothers: one comfortably bourgeois, the other nationalist.
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They Are Their Own Gifts

A three volume set of film portraits--Muriel Rukeyser, Alice Neel and Anna Sokolow. The poetry, painting, and dance of these three women is not artistic purism, but the product of a life conducted within social fabric. Through interviews, photographs and her own poetry readings, Muriel Rukeyser is shown as a civil rights and political activist. "This film shows beautifully how Rukeyser's courageous and independent life and her fierce and compassionate lyricism are forged to make the long poem that is her life." --Galen Williams, Executive Director, Poets and Writers. Portrait painter Alice Neel has created a psychological and spiritual history of the modern era, as it has been registered in the human face. "A dazzling portrait of an exuberant and vivacious painter." --Dr. Joyce Rosa, Professor of Art History, Long Island University. Anna Sokolow's choreography and dance draws on her early life experience with poverty and oppression. "Modern dance was originally an expression of social concern. This film illuminates both a period that needs to be recalled and a leading choreographer who grew out of that period." --Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic, New York Times.
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Theatre Girls

In her final piece at film school, Longinotto and her partner take us into the "Theatre Girls Club" in Soho, London–a hostel for elderly and destitute women and the only shelter in London that would take in any woman at any time. The filmmakers lived in the hostel for more than two months, establishing an extraordinary level of trust with their “cast” —from the home’s feisty cook to an elderly resident who was a terminal alcoholic. In what will later be recognized as a signature style, Longinotto films without judgement and finds the humor and humanity in situations and characters that might otherwise be seen as tragic. This stunning film debut earned awards at several European festivals and screened to acclaim in the US and Asia.
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Daughter Rite

"Daughter Rite is a classic, the missing link between the 'direct Cinema' documentaries and the later hybrids that acknowledged truth couldn't always be found in front of a camera lens. Scandalous in its day for bending the rules of representation to enlighten its audience about filmmaking, DAUGHTER RITE has a lot to teach folks hooked on reality TV, too. Citron's documentary inquiries into feminism, women in the trades, and feminist approaches to media representation are time capsules that merit re-opening." -B. Ruby Rich, author of " Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement" Includes special bonus feature, WHAT YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED, also by Michelle Citron.
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Riddles of the Sphinx

Laura Mulvey, author of the seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema , helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, she directed one of the most visually stimulating, theoretically rigorous films to emerge from the 1970s. RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX is a landmark fusion of feminism and formal experimentation that seeks to create a non-sexist film language. Its title figure, the legendary creature of antiquity, terrorized Thebes and self-destructed only after Oedipus correctly answered her riddle. Invoking and challenging traditional interpretations of the Oedipus story as a movement from matriarchal culture to patriarchal order, the film also probes representation in film itself. The central narrative section, about Louise, a middle-class woman, and her four-year-old daughter Ana, is an inquiry into the arbitrary nature of conventional film techniques that captures Louise's struggles with motherhood in a patriarchal society.
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Divine Horsemen-The Living Gods of Haiti

A journey into the fascinating world of the Voudoun religion edited from footage shot by Deren in Haiti.
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The Yellow Wallpaper

This short dramatic film brings to life the classic Charlotte Perkins Gilman story of the same name, which has become an important addition to American literature course curricula. Set in the late 1800s, the story features Elizabeth, an aspiring writer who becomes ill and is forced by her doctor and her husband to take a "rest cure." Completely isolated, her mind creates a world inside the wallpaper in her room-a world in which a woman is trapped and unable to escape.
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In the Best Interests of the Children

This groundbreaking film on lesbian mothering portrays the diversity of experience, race and class among eight lesbian mothers and their children.
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Mother of Many Children

Composed of a series of vignettes featuring Native women from different first nations, this classic work by Alanis Obomsawin, an Abenaki, reflects a proud matriarchal culture that for centuries has been pressured to adopt the values and traditions of white society. By tracing the cycle of Native women's lives from birth to childhood, puberty, young adulthood, maturity and old age, the film shows how Native women have struggled to regain a sense of equality, instilled cultural pride in their children and passed on their stories and language to younger generations. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
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