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

Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar has an exemplary track record for her passionate commitment to making films with integrity and illuminating untold stories with visual flair and imagination. Her award-winning work has been widely exhibited at international film festivals and broadcast globally. Pratibha’s dedication in bringing complex subjects into mainstream media has helped change the contours of popular discourse on race, feminism, sexuality and creativity.

Pratibha’s credits include A Place of Rage, a documentary film on African-American women and the civil rights movement featuring Angela Davis and June Jordan. The film received international critical acclaim and was named Best Historical Documentary at the National Black Programming Consortium in the U.S. In 1993 Pratibha released her most challenging film Warrior Marks, which documented female genital mutilation at a time when the subject was taboo globally. This award-winning documentary was made in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker. Parmar and Walker collaborated on the book Warrior Marks - Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women, which documented the making of the film (Jonathan Cape UK, Harcourt Brace US).

Nina’s Heavenly Delights, Pratibha’s multi-award winning narrative feature film debut starring Shelley Conn & Laura Fraser was released theatrically in the UK and US in 2006/7 and nominated for a GLAAD Award.

Author and editor of several books, Pratibha was awarded The Visionary Award for her body of work from the One in Ten Film Festival in October 2007 and is a past winner of the Frameline Film Festival Life Time Achievement Award.

Pratibha’s most recent award winning feature documentary film, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in cotton fields of Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th Century making history as the first African- American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. Alice Walker: Beauty In Truthtoured film festivals around the world to sell out audiences and positive reviews in 2013. The film was broadcast nationwide in the U.S on the Emmy Award winning series American Masters on PBS in February 2014, kicking off Black History month. The film was also broadcast on BBC Television (UK) and in several European cities. Pratibha is in development with several films including: FURY & TENDERNESS: ANDREA DWORKIN. An innovative feature documentary drama on controversial writer and feminist campaigner Andrea Dworkin. Co-Producers Salon Pictures (Developed with the support of the BFI (British Film Institute). (3/19)

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