The Righteous Babes

A film by Pratibha Parmar

England | 1998 | 50 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99630

SYNOPSIS

In this accomplished documentary, acclaimed filmmaker Pratibha Parmar (A PLACE OF RAGE, WARRIOR MARKS) explores the intersection of feminism with popular music, focusing on the role of female recording artists in the 1990s and their influence on modern women. Parmar argues that, far from being dead, feminism has thrived and expanded its reach through the direct, aggressive, and revolutionary medium of rock music, and through the role models of performers like Madonna and Ani DiFranco. Intercutting performance footage with interviews, Parmar explores her thesis with some of the most outspoken female musicians, feminist theorists, and journalists of the UK and US, including Sinead O’Connor, Skin (Skunk Anansie), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, Camille Paglia, and Gloria Steinem. THE RIGHTEOUS BABES offers a searing and timely critique of the commercialization of feminism through 'Girl Power' Spice Girls style, ditzy Ally McBeal and her trans-Atlantic counterpart, Bridget Jones. With critical insight and candidness, this powerful and timely documentary demonstrates the vibrancy and relevance of feminism to women and young girls today. Essential viewing for feminists, post-feminists and anti-feminists alike.

PRESS

“The righteous rage of The Righteous Babes tears the cobwebs off feminism: these fierce rock divas roll it out of the libraries and into packed concert halls. A sexy, invigorating must-see...”

Patricia R. Zimmermann Ithaca College

“Move over Spice Girls. Fast-paced, wryly observed, insightful, The Righteous Babes demolishes the “post” in “post-feminism.” In this video, popular culture — rock music — rather than marking the end of feminism through the commodification and containment of its revolutionary promise, instead emerges as a vital and contested ground of feminism’s on-going possibilities.”

Ann Pellegrini English and Women’s Studies, Harvard University

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Women's Film Festival, Seoul

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Pratibha Parmar

Pratibha Parmar is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, video artist and professor. Awarded The Visionary Award from the One in Ten Film Festival and the Frameline Film Festival Life Time Achievement Award, Pratibha is Writer/Director/Producer of over 16 documentaries and her films are included in THE PLACE IS HERE (2017) retrospective on 1980's British Black Arts movement, which highlighted issues of race, gender and the politics of representation. Her film SARI RED is retained in the permanent collection at MOMA, NYC and Pompidou Center, Paris. She is the author and editor of several ground breaking books notably, "The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 1970s Britain," and editor and publisher at Sheba Feminist Press (1980's), the first UK publishers of Audre Lorde. Pratibha was Visiting Artist at Stanford University, Theatre & Performance Studies Department (2013) and is currently an Associate Professor in the film department at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. (07/19)

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