Wavelengths

WAVELENGTHS explores the time honored quest for love and human intimacy in the polished world of computers and the Internet. Set in gay bars, dreams, and cyberspace, this perceptive and highly visual film contemplates one woman's search for emotionally safer sex. Mona's girlfriend has left Mona with a broken heart, an empty goldfish tank, and—in her altered state—the ability to pick up other people's conversations. Stuck in the post relationship blues, Mona just can't seem to move on...that is until she discovers "cybersex". This stylish new film from Pratibha Parmar features photographs by Nan Goldin and the hit single "Missing" by Everything But The Girl.
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Warrior Marks

WARRIOR MARKS is a poetic and political film about female genital mutilation from the director of A PLACE OF RAGE, presented by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of THE COLOR PURPLE and POSSESSING THE SECRET OF JOY.
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The Righteous Babes

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.
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A Place of Rage

This exuberant celebration of African American women and their achievements features interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker. Within the context of the civil rights, Black power and feminist movements, the trio reassess how women such as Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer revolutionized American society. A stirring chapter in African American history, highlighted by music from Prince, Janet Jackson, the Neville Brothers and the Staple Singers.
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Khush

KHUSH means ecstatic pleasure in Urdu. For South Asian lesbians and gay men in Britain, North America, and India (where homosexuality is still illegal) the term captures the blissful intricacies of being queer and of color. Inspiring testimonies bridge geographical differences to locate shared experiences of isolation and exoticization but also the unremitting joys and solidarity of being “khush”. Accentuated by beautifully lit dream sequences, dance segments and a dazzlingly sensuous soundtrack, this uplifting documentary conveys the exhilaration of a culturally rooted experience of sexuality.
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Jodie: An Icon

Jodie is a fast paced, breezy look at the transatlantic phenomenon that has made Hollywood actress Jodie Foster an icon for lesbians who identify with, adore and celebrate the screen personas of her remarkable career. Fans and queer cultural critics share their favorite ‘iconic’ moments giving illuminating lesbian readings of Foster’s key films which trace the charismatic actor’s progression from early tomboy parts as a child star to mature performances depicting active, strong willed women with attitude. Die hard Foster fans like comedienne Lea de Laria’s comment that “If I was Hannibal Lecter, it wouldn’t be her liver I’d want to eat,” express the desire and lust shared by Foster’s lesbian fans around the world. The film captures the Jodie Foster look alike contest in San Francisco and a visually slick montage of views on Foster’s butch femme indeterminacy all help to confirm Foster’s status as a dyke icon.
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Flesh and Paper

FLESH AND PAPER is a lyrical exploration of the sense and sensibilities of Indian lesbian poet and writer, Suniti Bamjoshi. This moving and powerful portrait of a unique and brave woman weaves Namjoshi’s life and writings into a sensual tapestry. Born into an Indian royal family, Namjoshi discusses her reasons for leaving India (she fell in love with her best friend), and her experiences as a cultural outsider in the U.S. Showing how “language invents worlds,” her vision as an Indian lesbian feminist is informed both by a lesbian consciousness and a deep Indian cultural framework. A prolific writer who has been widely published in the U.K., Canada and India over the past twenty years, Namjoshi’s poems, fables and novels are characterized by her wit and wry, satirical sense of humor. Shot on location in Devon, England as well as at the Old Palace in India, the film includes interviews with young Indo-British lesbians, expressive readings and choreographed dance segments. Sharing her life with fellow writer and poet Gilllian Hanscombe, Namjoshi’s passionate correspondence with her love reflects the intimacy and detail of this meditative piece. With great visual beauty and lyricism, FLESH AND PAPER, captures the spirit of Namjoshi’s poetry in an evocative, multi-layered way.
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Double the Trouble, Twice the Fun

A rare and lively examination of disability and homosexuality as it affects both women and men, DOUBLE THE TROUBLE, TWICE THE FUN, advocates for acceptance rather than pity for the participants in this film. Interviews with a wide range of disabled lesbian and gay people are intercut with dramatic recreations and performances. Made for Channel Four Television by Pratibha Parmar (A PLACE OF RAGE, WARRIOR MASKS), this enlightening film dispels the myth that all disabled people are unhappy or have no sexual identity. It also looks at the difficulties of enduring prejudice as both a disabled and gay person.
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Sweating Indian Style

The appropriation of Native American traditions by non-Natives comes under thoughtful scrutiny in this insightful documentary. As it follows the New Age activities of a group of Californian women learning to construct a sweat lodge and perform their own ceremony, it raises important questions about the use of elements of Native culture out of context, apart from the complex realities of American Indian experience. Interviews with diverse Native American women point out the problems inherent in this increasingly popular New Age phenomenon and its relationship to traditional forms of colonialism.
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CORPUS: A Home Movie for Selena

This classic rerelease from award-winning filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (Señorita Extraviada, Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo ) is a complex tribute to Selena, the Tejana superstar gunned down in 1995 at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club, just as she was on the brink of blockbuster crossover fame. While the story of her murder, which was filled with sex, glamour and betrayal, caught the attention of many outside the Chicano community, this film moves well beyond the sensational to present a nuanced feminist analysis of Selena's story. Clips of rare home movies, family photos, and glossy music videos from later in Selena's career are interspersed with lively conversations with her father, sister and Latina intellectuals that shed light into just who Selena was and what makes her such a powerful figure today. Staying true to the “home movie” feel, Portillo interviews ordinary people in Selena's hometown of Corpus Christie, including starry-eyed teenaged fans and tearful strangers who visit her grave. With a compassionate lens, Portillo places Selena's life and legacy in a cultural context, revealing powerful social forces that transformed a popular entertainer into a Chicana cultural icon turned modern-day saint.
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Compensation

COMPENSATION the first feature by award-winning filmmaker Zeinabu irene Davis (CYCLES and A POWERFUL THANG), presents two unique African-American love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man. Inspired by a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, this moving narrative shares their struggle to overcome racism, disability and discrimination. An important film on African-American deaf culture, Davis innovatively incorporates silent film techniques (such as title cards and vintage photos) to make the piece accessible to hearing and deaf viewers alike, and to share the vast possibilities of language and communication.
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New Directions

NEW DIRECTIONS is award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries. Each one spotlights the critical role women are playing as community based leaders: providing education, inspiration and practical assistance to other women in their countries. WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE (1997, 30 minutes) focuses on a group of five daring women who have taken up the challenge of creating their own future in the traditionally male field of carpentry. At its center is Fatima Shoriwa, an inspiration to many of her countrywomen. Owner of a thriving carpentry business, she also openly advocates education, family planning, safe sex practices, and economic self-sufficiency to achieve women's full voices in their own destinies. In Klong Toey, Bangkok's largest slum, Duang Prateep, a foundation created and run entirely by women, provides empowering choices and role models to the area's residents. WOMEN OF THAILAND (1997, 30 minutes) centers on Rotjana Phraesrithong, a remarkable young social worker who first came to Klong Toey as a poor, ill-educated country girl of twelve. As it follows Rotjana in her work with the women and children of Klong Toey, the film reveals how her innovative programs promote schooling for children and provide AIDS and health eduction. WOMEN OF GUATEMALA (2000, 30 minutes) is a compelling portrait of Maria Del Carmen Chavajay and Micaela Chavajay, part of the new generation of Mayan women. They head the Health Promoter Group of San Pedro La Laguna, a group of seventy-five women that provides health education and tackles the grave social and economic injustices facing Mayan women in Guatemala. In a region where doctors are few or non-existent and where the cost of medical care is prohibitively high, these dedicated women share the aspirations, insights and experiences that underscore the important contributions of Mayan women--and their roles as future leaders--in Guatemalan women's struggle for empowerment. The fourth installment of the series, SPEAKING OUT: WOMEN, AIDS AND HOPE IN MALI (2002, 55 minutes) profiles a remarkable HIV and AIDS support project in Bamako, Mali, sponsored by The Center for Care, Activity and Council for People Living with HIV (CESAC) and three brave women who tirelessly work on behalf of the infected community.
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The Day You Love Me

A close-up look at the varieties and complexities of domestic violence, THE DAY YOU LOVE ME takes us into the daily life of policewomen and social workers in one of the Police Commissaries for Women and Children in Nicaragua's capital city of Managua. Women of different ages, as well as children and young adults, come there seeking help against abusive husbands, lovers and parents. They also talk freely about their experiences and their sometimes conflicting desires for change. The men in their lives come to the station to respond to the charges against them by defending themselves, justifying their actions, arguing their own grievances, or even admitting their wrongs. Actively engaged in the life of the community around the Commissary, the policewomen and social workers demonstrate their responsiveness and skill in dealing with a range of situations and abuses. In the course of documenting their day, this important film records the essential and empowering process that breaks the traditional law of silence aiding and abetting domestic violence in its many forms.
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Seven Hours To Burn

"A visually expressive personal documentary that explores a family's history. Filmmaker Thakur mixes richly abstract filmmaking with disturbing archival war footage to narrate the story of her Danish mother's and Indian father's experiences. Her mother survives Nazi-occupied Denmark while her father experiences the devastating civil war in India between Hindus and Muslims. Both émigrés to Canada, they meet and marry, linking two parallel wars. Their daughter lyrically turns these two separate histories into a visually rich poem linking past and present in a new singular identity." Doubletake Documentary Film Festival Catalogue
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Black Sheep

Lou Glover grew up in New South Wales repeating the same homophobic and racist taunts she heard around her. Though she was raised in a white family, she was dark-haired and dark-eyed and was often asked if she was Aboriginal--a suggestion she vehemently denied. It wasn't until she came out as a lesbian and left the racist and homophobic environment in which she was raised that she began to explore her ancestry. And that's when she uncovered the secret that her father's family had been hiding for three generations. In this upbeat film from Australia, Lou Glover tells her own story as lesbian, one-time police officer, and recently-discovered Aboriginal woman.
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Girls Around the World

Produced by Brenda Parkerson, GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD is a collection of six extraordinary documentaries that examine the hopes, dreams and worldviews of a diverse group of 17-year-old girls from across the globe. This multidimensional series provides a critical cross-cultural perspective into the lives of young women, the concerns they share and the difficult decisions they face as they transition into adulthood. A compelling snapshot of global girlhood, GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD introduces young American women to the social and economic reality that shapes, and sometimes limits, the goals of their counterparts in the world. ANNA FROM BENIN (Monique Phoba, Benin) One of 31 children, Anna struggles to remain a normal teen and still fulfill her family’s high expectations, after she accepts a prestigious scholarship to study music in France. DAUGHTERS OF WAR (Maria Barea, Peru) The effects of war, drugs and poverty on a generation of youth in Peru is seen through Gabriela, the leader of a girl gang and mother of a 7 month old daughter. HEAVEN AND EARTH (Pascale Schmidt, Germany) Unlike other teens, Ramona chooses to follow a religious path and leave behind the freedoms enjoyed by youth her age in modern-day Munich. FRONTIER (Kaija Jurikkala, Finland) On a small, isolated farm near the Russian border, Tarja is forced to make the painful decision to leave her childhood home in order to pursue greater opportunities. DON'T ASK WHY (Sabiha Sumar, Pakistan) Anousheh, a spirited and independent-minded Pakistani teen, attempts to realize her dreams while confronting the expectations of her religion and culture. NIGHT GIRL (Yingli Ma, China) *A striking picture of contemporary China, Night Girl presents the poignant story of Han Lin, a 17 year old prematurely made to enter into the workforce as a Go-Go dancer to help ease her family’s economic burdens. *May be inappropriate for audiences under 17.
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Nobody Knows My Name

NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME tells the story of women who are connected by their love for hip-hop music. Despite the fact that these talented female artists exist within a culture that revolves around self-expression, the subjects of Raimist’s documentary must struggle to be heard. Asia One has found a niche as an organizer of the B-Boy Summit, but longs for a sense of female community. DJ Symphony is the sole female member of the The World Famous Beat Junkies. Leaschea lives a turbulent life, even though she has been signed by a major label. Lisa married in the hip-hop lifestyle, and now raises a hip-hop family. Medusa is the successful queen of the L.A. hip-hop underground. T-Love, an ex-Cripette, hopes her creative talents will help her change her lifestyle. Through the candid study of these women, documentarian Raimist explores a fascinating and diverse feminist community, which yearns to find a place in a male-dominated subculture that is, in itself, marginalized. Ultimately, Raimist succeeds in empowering these self-actualized women by giving them the voice for which they struggle.
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Dry Kisses Only/War on Lesbians

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, DRY KISSES ONLY (1990, 75 mins.) explores the lesbian subtext of classical films. Cottis and Brooke reedit Hollywood movies to affirm the validity of lesbian readings of popular culutre and the tenuous truths of gossip. WAR ON LESBIANS (1992, 32 mins.) is a witty critique of the invisibility of positive images of lesbians and a satire of talk show television and radio self-help program. Both films are hilarious tributes to lesbian spectatorship as well as biting critiques of the media, lesbian stereotyping and popular culture.
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Joan Does Dynasty/Joan Sees Stars

In the now classic, JOAN DOES DYNASTY (1986, 35 mins), Braderman superimposes her own image over scenes from one of the most popular night time soap operas in American history. With spearing humor, Braderman doesn't even spare poor Krystal in her wicked deconstruction of the fantasies of capitalism, patriarchy and consumption. JOAN SEES STARS (1993, 60 mins) is a savvy peek at the way celebrity culture, especially movies stars, make their way in to our lives, our beds and our dreams. "Braderman looks at life through rose-colored glasses, then wipes them off and dishes the dirt. JOAN SEES STARS is no exception: movies meet life, life meets death and romance meets Perdue chicken in the meditation on our illicit VCR pleasures. Watch, and eat your heart out." --B. Ruby Rich, Cultural Critic
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Ever Shot Anyone?

Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad provides a woman's take on how national culture is informed by male identity through the military experience that bonds her country's Jewish men. EVER SHOT ANYONE? documents Aviad's attempt to infiltrate the world of army reservists during their annual tour of duty on the Golan Heights. Gradually, but not without suspicion and hostility toward the intruder in their midst, the middle-aged civilian-soldiers reveal notions about male identity, friendship, family and gender relations. This dominant male culture through the eyes of the ultimate outsider--a woman.
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Made In India: SEWA in Action

This powerful documentary is a portrait of SEWA, the now-famous women's organization in India that holds to the simple yet radical belief that poor women need organizing, not welfare. SEWA, or the Self-Employed Women's Association, corresponds to the Indian word sewa, meaning service. Based in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, a dusty old textile town on the edge of the Gujarati desert, SEWA is at its core a trade union for the self-employed. It offers union membership to the illiterate women who sell vegetables for 50 cents a day in the city markets, or who pick up paper scraps for recycling from the streets--jobs that most Indian men don't consider real work. Inspired by the political, economic and moral model advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, SEWA has grown since its founding to a membership of more than 217,000 and its bank now has 61,000 members, assets of $4 million and customers who walk in each day to deposit a dollar or take out 60 cents. Following the lives of six women involved in the organization, including Ela R. Bhat, its visionary founder, Plattner's documentary is an important look at the power of grassroots global feminism.
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Visitors of the Night

The failures of the ethnographic endeavor to discover “reality” are revealed in this expository and experimental film. The narrator-ethnographer embarks on an expedition to encounter the Mosuo, an isolated and matrilinear tribe in the mountains of South West China. Their society is built on the principle of the axia-relationship, ties between ‘visitors of the night.’ This means that a man only stays in his wife’s house at night and during the day he works for the benefit of his grandmother. Since men and women do not have economical obligations, their unique, polyandric relationships are based on love only. Recently due to funding by the Han government, The Lugu region has turned into a major touristic area, where tradition and modernity clash -- particularly when the polyandry of the Mosuo is seen as prostitution by outsiders. Van Dienderen, a visual anthropologist, playfully reveals the distance between textual knowledge and the experience of a cinematographic journey in a thoughtful and fascinating documentary.
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Covered: The Hejab in Cairo, Egypt

Just over a decade ago it was hard to find women on the streets of Cairo who veiled, a custom that their forebearers struggled to overthrow at the beginning of the twentieth century. But today, many Muslim women in Egypt wear a head scarf called the hejab, and in more extreme cases they cover their entire faces. This absorbing documentary offers a rare opportunity to examine the restoration of veiling and the reasons for its pervasiveness through the eyes of Egyptian women. In unique interviews with women of different ages and backgrounds, COVERED reveals that Islamic tradition, religious fundamentalism, and growing nationalism are not solely responsible for decisions to wear the hejab. Diverse social, economic and political factors, as well as personal preferences, often play prominent roles. As timely as it is compelling, the film shows how complex causes account for a phenomenon that is poorly understood outside the Muslim world.
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Don't Fence Me In

Against the broader backdrop of modern India's political and social history, this lyrical documentary tells the story of the life of Krishna Sikand, the filmmaker's mother, from childhood to maturity. A rich mosaic of memory and impressions, DON'T FENCE ME IN captures the fragmented way in which we journey back through time. Evoking Krishna's earliest years in pre-independence Bombay as the daughter of a well-to-do Bengali family, the film also traces her post-colonial experiences--from marriage to a Punjabi army officer in the face of fierce family opposition, through the raising of two daughters and successful careers as an academic, small business entrepreneur, media consultant, journalist, and poet. Black-and-white photos of Krishna as a child and young woman are juxtaposed with clips from home movies shot by the filmmaker's father nearly thirty years ago, and recent location footage. Krishna's personal narrative is highlighted by her wonderful letters to her daughter and the poems that serve as milestones in her life.
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Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust

Why would a young person choose resistance rather than submission during Hitler's reign of terror while her world was collapsing around her? In this gripping documentary, three Jewish women answer this question by recalling their lives as teenagers in occupied Holland, Hungary and Poland, when they refused to remain passive as the Nazis rounded up local Jewish populations. Defying her family's wishes, each girl found an unexpected way of fighting back--as a ballet dancer shuttling Jews to safe houses and distributing resistance newspapers; as a photographer and partisan waging guerrilla war against the Germans; and as a leader in an underground Zionist group smuggling Jews across the border. Enriched by home movies, archival footage, and previously unpublished photographs, the women's varied and vibrant stories provide a unique look at Jewish resistance to Nazism, a subject all too often consigned to history's footnotes.
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Hollywood Harems

"Tania Kamal-Eldin has once again produced a stunning video, a half-hour documentary, this time taking critical aim at Hollywood's abiding fascination with and fantasies about all things east. Juxtaposing film clips from the 20s through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Kamal-Eldin explores the organization of gender, race, and sexuality in Hollywood's portrayal of the exotic east an indiscriminate fusion of things Arab, Persian, Chinese and Indian. She argues, convincingly, that in abridging cultural plurality and difference, these technicolor fantasies have worked both to shape and reinforce often derogative assumptions about peoples of the east while at the same time reinscribing the moral, spiritual, and cultural supremacy of the Anglo-European west. HOLLYWOOD HAREMS is skillfully crafted, well-paced technically adept production versatile and especially suitable for use in a variety of classroom settings." Dr Valerie Hartouni, Director, Critical Gender Studies Program, University of California at San Diego
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Black Women On: The Light, Dark Thang

BLACK WOMEN ON: THE LIGHT, DARK THANG explores the politics of color within the African-American community. Women representing a variety of hues--from honey-vanilla to brown-sugar chocolate--speak candidly about the longstanding "caste system" that permeates black society. These women share provocative, heart-wrenching personal stories about how being too light or too dark has profoundly influenced their life and relationships--from childhood on and throughout their adult years. Originating in a culture of slavery, the "light, dark thang" still persists. Even today it haunts black women's individual and collective memories. Both entertaining and transformative viewing, BLACK WOMEN ON: THE LIGHT, DARK THANG combines personal interviews and historical footage with literary and dramatic vignettes.
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Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women's Hair

Afros, braids or corn rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. Today, trend-setting teens happily reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a diverse group of black women who reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices. BLACK, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates about self-determination and society's perceptions of beauty.
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Artist

Internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt takes the viewer on a fast-paced journey through Hollywood's depiction of the artist. Using a wealth of clips from classic cinema bio pics and popular television sitcoms, the voyage spans centuries of art and art-making to reveal how five decades of mainstream media have perceived the creative process and creators themselves. A lively music track underscores the fervor and passion we have come to associate with artists and their typical one-dimensional representations on the large and small screen. Punctuated by recurrent gestures--the confident whisk of the paint brush, the futile laugh of frustration, and the violent destruction of one's own work--this amusing, thought-provoking array of well-known images paints an incisive portrait of the artist as a total Hollywood fabrication.
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A Place Called Home

Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri grew up in pre-Revolution Tehran daydreaming about an ideal life in the West. Nineteen years later, after living and working in the U.S., Persheng explores her controversial decision to move back to Iran, to return to the place she never stopped calling home. In this fascinating and very personal documentary, Persheng's interviews with her family--with her mother and sister in the U.S. and with her father, who chose to remain in Iran--reveal some of the complex layers of expatriate, national and cultural identities. The film features a rare glimpse at women's lives in contemporary Tehran.
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Lip

It is Hollywood’s favorite role for black women: the maid. Sassy or sweet, snickeringly attentive or flippantly dismissive, the performers who play them steal every scene they are in, and Tracy Moffatt’s entertaining video collage reveals the narrow margin Hollywood has allowed black actresses to shine in. But shine they do. Giving lip is proven an art form in these scenes from 1930’s cinema to present-day movies featuring a remarkable roster of undervalued actresses and their more celebrated white costars. Moffatt and Hillberg’s rough, no-budget assembly effectively highlights with familiarity and humor the disturbing realization of how black characters and white characters still interact on screen, under Hollywood’s eternally backwards eye.
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Performing the Border

A video essay set in the Mexican-U.S. border town of Ciudad Juarez, where U.S. multinational corporations assemble electronic and digital equipment just across from El Paso, Texas. This imaginative, experimental work investigates the growing feminization of the global economy and its impact on Mexican women living and working in the area. Looking at the border as both a discursive and material space, the film explores the sexualization of the border region through labor division, prostitution, the expression of female desires in the entertainment industry, and sexual violence in the public sphere. Candid interviews with Mexican women factory and sex workers, as well as activists and journalists, are combined with scripted voiceover analysis, screen text, scenes and sounds recorded on site, and found footage to give new insights into the gendered conditions inscribed by the high-tech industry at its low-wage end.
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Nu Shu: A Hidden Language of Women in China

In feudal China, women, usually with bound feet, were denied educational opportunities and condemned to social isolation. But in Jian-yong county in Hunan province, peasant women miraculously developed a separate written language, called Nu Shu, meaning "female writing." Believing women to be inferior, men disregarded this new script, and it remained unknown for centuries. It wasn't until the 1960s that Nu Shu caught the attention of Chinese authorities, who suspected that this peculiar writing was a secret code for international espionage. Today, interest in this secret script continues to grow, as evidenced by the wide critical acclaim of Lisa See’s recent novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, about Nu Shu. NU SHU: A HIDDEN LANGUAGE OF WOMEN IN CHINA is a thoroughly engrossing documentary that revolves around the filmmaker's discovery of eighty-six-year-old Huan-yi Yang, the only living resident of the Nu Shu area still able to read and write Nu Shu. Exploring Nu Shu customs and their role in women's lives, the film uncovers a women's subculture born of resistance to male dominance, finds a parallel struggle in the resistance of Yao minorities to Confucian Han Chinese culture, and traces Nu Shu's origins to some distinctly Yao customs that fostered women's creativity.
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Made In Thailand

In Thailand, women make up 90 percent of the labor force responsible for garments and toys for export by multinational corporations. This powerful, revealing documentary about women factory workers and their struggle to organize unions exposes the human cost behind the production of everyday items that reach our shores. Probing the profound impact of the New World Order on the populations that provide the global economy with cheap labor, MADE IN THAILAND also profiles women newly empowered by their campaign for human and worker's rights. Several of these women are survivors of the 1993 Kader Toy Factory fire, one of the worst industrial fires in history. Today they are highly effective leaders in the grass-roots movement mobilizing workers in their recently industrialized country.
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Step by Step: Building a Feminist Movement, 1941-1977

"****Proving beyond a doubt that feminism began well before the 1960s, and that its players were not just the white middle class, this inspiring film follows the lives of eight Midwestern women, six of whom became founders of NOW. Set against a backdrop of decades of war, prosperity and reform, their stories beautifully illustrate the continuity and diversity of 20th-century feminism, as the participants describe the labor, civil rights, and political movements of the '40s and '50s that led them to take independent action for women. Using well-chosen archival footage, stills, music, and primary-source narration, producer Joyce Follet of the University of Wisconsin and consulting producer Terry Rockefeller (EYES ON THE PRIZE and AMERICA'S WAR ON POVERTY) offer a first-rate, panoramic-yet-personal view of the women on feminism's front lines." K.Glaser, Video Librarian
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Tree Shade

Shame and embarrassment propel Savannah, a gifted high school student, to embark on a journey through space and time to witness the prison convictions of her great-grandmother Etta Mae, her grand-aunt Olive, and her aunt Denise. The fanciful and chilling tales of a delightfully vain maid in the 1920s, a hopelessly depressed nanny in the 1950s, and a mother frustrated during the holiday season in the 1980s, help Savannah reconcile her feelings about her own past in this touching coming-of-age story. An imaginative, thoroughly engaging drama that speaks volumes about identity and self-worth, TREE SHADE will have special appeal to teenage viewers and delight audiences of all ages.
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Up in the Sky: Tracey Moffatt in New York

"UP IN THE SKY scans the universe created by the provocative and talented photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt, Australia's answer to Cindy Sherman and with even more of an edge, if that's possible. An important figure in the Australian postcolonial avant-garde, Moffatt started out with visually compelling (and often disturbing) photographs and films such as NICE COLOURED GIRLS, NIGHT CRIES, and BEDEVIL that explore her own Aboriginal heritage and the complex ways that power, race and gender intersect, often violently, in everyday life. More recently, her work draws on sources as diverse as Pasolini and Mad Max films, or Victorian photography. Jane Cole's documentary is an insightful portrait of Moffatt and her work, and an invaluable framework for anyone interested in the work of this cutting edge artist." Faye Ginsburg, Director, The Center for Media, Culture, and History, New York University
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New Directions: Women of Thailand

In Klong Toey, Bangkok's largest slum, Duang Prateep, a foundation created and run entirely by women provides empowering choices and role models to the area's residents. Part of Joanne Burke's NEW DIRECTIONS series about innovative women in developing countries, this compelling documentary closeup of the women who carry out Duang Prateep's mandate centers on Rotjana Phraesrithong, a remarkable young social worker who first came to Klong Toey as a poor, ill-educated country girl of twelve. As it follows Rotjana in her work with the women and children of Klong Toey, the film reveals how her innovative programs promote schooling among the traditionally underserved community's children. We also see how the foundation's struggle against the spread of AIDS and other health problems is vigorously supported by housewife volunteers from Klong Toey. A valuable resource for studies focusing on the transformation of women's roles in Asia and on educational issues in the developing world, WOMEN OF THAILAND has useful applications for community-based audiences as well.
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New Directions: Women of Zimbabwe

From award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries, WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE focuses on a group of five daring women who have taken up the challenge of creating their own future in the traditionally male field of carpentry. At its center is Fatima Shoriwa, an inspiration to many of her countrywomen. Owner of a thriving carpentry business, she also openly advocates education, family planning, safe sex practices, and economic self-sufficiency for women. The group's other four members are Fatima's apprentices, who range in age from seventeen to twenty-three. Shown at work as mutually supportive members of a collaborative team, at home with their children, and on visits to their families in rural Zimbabwe, all five offer unique insights into the choices and changes in their lives as well as the traditional customs and roles that have shaped their experience.
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Zyklon Portrait

A Holocaust film without Holocaust imagery, ZYKLON PORTRAIT combines archival instructional films with family snapshots, home movies, underwater photography, and hand-painted imagery for an expressive exploration of how history and memory are related to one family's loss. "...Elida Schogt's deeply moving portrait of her family's experience during the Holocaust...wisely privileges the subjective response over any attempts at historical objectivity. Beginning with a hypermeticulous analysis of Zyklon B, the gas used to kill millions in the concentration camps, the documentary approach quickly fractures into a necessarily personal one, underscoring the impossibility of making sense of the senseless. Skillfully weaving archival footage and the conventional documentary's dispassionate voice of authority with family photos and her mother's cautious words, Schogt creates a palpable tension between these irreconcilable elements. The commanding voice of the narrator continually dissolves into the reticent voice of her mother, whose insistence on the indescribable nature of these events resonates with an even greater legitimacy....The film is a fitting testament to the unspeakable nature of these horrors and to the courage of those who have to struggle to summon up the words to even begin to describe them." Barbara Goslawski, Take One: Film & Television in Canada
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Golden Threads

Profiling the life of 93 year old lesbian activist Christine Burton, founder of a global networking service for mid-life and elder lesbians this documentary by Lucy Winer and Karen Eaton, exuberantly overturns our most deeply rooted stereotypes and fears of aging. By adding the wry and introspective narrative of the director undergoing a mid-life crisis, the film generates a groundbreaking, intergenerational dialogue about sexuality, life choices, and aging. At a time when the media commonly sentimentalizes, dismisses or altogether ignores the old, GOLDEN THREADS offers an urgently needed antidote. GOLDEN THREADS was produced for the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Divorce Iranian Style

Hilarious, tragic, stirring, this fly-on-the-wall look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court provides a unique window into the intimate circumstances of Iranian women’s lives. Following Jamileh, whose husband beats her; Ziba, a 16-year-old trying to divorce her 38-year-old husband; and Maryam, who is desperately fighting to gain custody of her daughters, this deadpan chronicle showcases the strength, ingenuity, and guile with which they confront biased laws, a Kafaka-esque administrative system, and their husbands’ and families’ rage to gain divorces. With the barest of commentary, acclaimed director Kim Longinotto turns her cameras on the court and lets it tell its own story. Dispelling images of Iran as a country of war, hostages, and “fatwas”, and Iranian women as passive victims of a terrible system, this film is a subtle, fascinating look at women’s lives in a country which is little known to most Americans. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, author of MARRIAGE ON TRIAL: A STUDY OF ISLAMIC FAMILY LAW.
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Honey Moccasin

This all-Native production, by director Shelley Niro (Mohawk), is part of the Smoke Signals new wave of films that examine Native identity in the 1990’s. Set on the Grand Pine Indian Reservation, aka “Reservation X”, HONEY MOCCASIN combines elements of melodrama, performance art, cable access, and ‘whodunit’ to question conventions of ethnic and sexual identity as well as film narrative. A comedy/thriller complete with a fashion show and torchy musical numbers, this witty film employs a surreal pastiche of styles to depict the rivalry between bars The Smokin’ Moccasin and The Inukshuk Cafe, the saga of closeted drag queen/powwow clothing thief Zachary John, and the travails of crusading investigator Honey Moccasin. This irreverent reappropriation of familiar narrative strategies serves as a provocative spring-board for an investigation of authenticity, cultural identity, and the articulation of modern Native American experience in cinematic language and pop culture.
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In My Father's House

In this beautiful, poetic and deeply personal film, Moroccan filmmaker Fatima Jebli Ouazzani investigates the status accorded women in Islamic marriage customs and the continuing importance of virginity. Ouazzani left her father’s house in Morocco sixteen years ago to escape the constraints her culture and its traditions have put on women. She returns now to confront those traditions, her own family and herself. Following three generations of women — her grandmother and mothers’ arranged marriages, her grandmother’s subsequent attempts to divorce, and Naima, a young woman who has returned home for a traditional wedding ceremony—she questions whether her choice for a life of her own was worth the loss of her father. Jebli Ouazzani offers us a rare glimpse of the shifts and changes in Moroccan and Islamic culture in this powerful, moving film.
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Lockin’ Up

When Jamaican-born filmmaker T. Nicole Atkinson threw away her comb to let her hair coil into dreadlocks, she was forced to challenge both society’s and her own conflicted notions of beauty. Her story and those of other African Americans who have chosen to ‘lock up’ are wittily chronicled in this award-winning, entertaining film. Anecdotes, historical data, groit performances, and hair tips mingle in a survey of the origins and cultural significance of dreadlocks, including the stereotypes which mirror the racism inherent in Western standards of beauty. T. Nicole Atkinson is the co-producer of the late Marlon Riggs’ acclaimed documentary, BLACK IS...BLACK AINT.
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Out of Phoenix Bridge

This groundbreaking work from Li Hong, China’s first independent female documentarian, follows two years in the lives of four young women from the countryside who have come to Beijing for jobs. Although they work long hours as maids or street vendors and share a tiny room no bigger than a closet, they savor these years— between living as a daughter at home and returning to the village to marry —as probably the freest time of their lives. Documenting both her deepening relationship with these women and the gulf of experiences and opportunity that separate them, Hong carefully charts their hopes for a better future and dreams of self-determination. In interviews and intimate footage, Hong elicits remarkably candid and complex testimony from her subjects as they frankly discuss their work, pressures from home, and experiences with men. A remarkable achievement, this touching film is a fascinating look at the lives of women whose experiences are rarely explored. As they straddle traditional and modern roles, their stories uniquely exemplify the conflicts between the swift changes in women’s roles occurring in China and around the developing world.
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The Female Closet

This fascinating film from renowned filmmaker Barbara Hammer combines rare footage, interviews, and rich visual documentation to survey the lives of variously closeted women artists from different segments of the 20th century: Victorian photographer Alice Austen, Weimar collagist Hannah Höch, and present day painter Nicole Eisenman. In a compelling examination of the art world’s treatment of lesbians, Hammer documents how the museum devoted to Austen ignores the implications of her crossdressing photos, how the Museum of Modern Art glossed over Höch’s sexuality in a major exhibit, and how Eisenman’s work based on patriarchal porn is described by critics as “liberating, fun, and over the top”. Examining the museum as closet, and the negotiation of visibility and secrecy in lesbian history, this thoughtful film is a provocative look at the relationship between art, life, and sexuality.
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Searching for Go-Hyang

A moving personal documentary, SEARCHING FOR GO-HYANG traces the return of twin sisters to their native Korea after a fourteen year absence. Sent away by their parents for the promise of a better life in the US, they instead suffered mental and physical abuse by their adoptive parents, including the erasure of their cultural heritage and language. Reunited with their biological parents and brothers, the young women explore their past in an attempt to reconnect with their “Go-Hyang”, their homeland, which they find they may not have a place in anymore. Thousands of Korean and Chinese girl babies have been brought to the US for adoption in the last twenty years. This beautiful film is a rare feminist look at the issues of cross-cultural adoption and national identity.
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Some Ground To Stand On

This compelling documentary tells the life story of Blue Lunden, a working class lesbian activist whose odyssey of personal transformation parallels lesbians’ changing roles over the past 40 years. Starting with Blue’s experience of being run out of the 1950’s New Orleans gay bar scene for wearing men’s clothing, SOME GROUND TO STAND ON combines interviews, rare photos, and archival footage to trace her experiences: giving up her child for adoption and getting her back; getting sober; and coming into her own as a lesbian rights, feminist, and anti-nuclear activist. Now 61 and living in Sugarloaf Women’s Village, Blue reflects on aging, activism, and a life spent “doing what she wanted” in this touching, inspiring look at a generation’s struggle for a lesbian identity and consciousness.
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Sweet Power

During a tumultuous political campaign, veteran broadcast journalist Bia takes over as news director of a major television network. Amidst multiple candidates, corrupt colleagues, and personal intrigues, she is sucked into ethical grey areas from which it proves difficult to escape. Brazilian filmmaker-journalist Lúcia Murat (HOW NICE TO SEE YOU ALIVE) has drawn on her own experiences as a television journalist and human rights activist, who was jailed for her political activities, in this stylish, sexy drama about the moral conflicts between careerism, political expediency, and personal and professional ideals. Infused with pathos, humor, and real conflict, SWEET POWER is a very real look at one woman’s struggle to act honorably in the most compromising of situations.
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Heaven

This playful film from famed director and photographer Tracey Moffatt turns the tables on traditional representations of desire to examine the power of the female gaze in the objectification of men’s bodies. HEAVEN begins with surreptitiously filmed documentary footage of brawny surfers changing in and out of bathing and wet-suits. While the soundtrack switches between the ocean surf and male chanting, Moffatt moves closer to alternately flirt with and tease her subjects, who respond with a combination of preening and macho reticence. This witty piece is a potent and hilarious meditation on cinematic and everyday sex roles, voyeurism, power, and the thin line between admiration and invasiveness.
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Treyf

TREYF —“unkosher” in Yiddish— is an unorthodox documentary by and about two Jewish lesbians who met and fell in love at a Passover “seder”. With personal narration, real and imagined educational films, and haunting imagery, filmmakers Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky examine the Jewish identity of their upbringings and its impact on their lives. Incisive cultural critics, astute, poignant, and poetic—never cynical—they weave their way from New York to Jerusalem in pursuit of a progressive, secular Jewish identity that draws from their childhood reminiscences as much as from their contemporary queer lives. As referenced in Alisa Lebow’s book First Person Jewish, TREYF is iconoclastic and intelligent, humorous and poignant, a personal journey from kibbutz summers to coming out, from keeping kosher to “Bat Mitzvahs.” A reflection on culture, community, and individual desire, this witty film follows the filmmakers as they discover what they thought was most profoundly “treyf” about their worldviews still has roots in Jewish history.
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Sabor a Mi

Claudia Morgado Escanilla's SABOR A MI is an erotic short drama about sensual yearnings, the guilty pleasures of watching, and the secret complicity of desire. Two women secretly watch the most intimate moments of each other's lives. Chance meetings between the two soon become deliberate encounters and the women discover their mutual longing for each other. This visually stunning short is from the maker of Unbound, winner of the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
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Tender Fictions

Innovative, funny, and historic, TENDER FICTIONS is an autobiographical exploration of the search for and meaning of gay community. From a childhood spent being groomed as the next Shirley Temple to her current work as an activist and maker of over 70 films and videos, groundbreaking filmmaker Barbara Hammer casts a wry eye on her life and changing world. In a rich montage of home movies, experimental films, news footage, and personal photographs, Hammer charts her growth from 1950's child star "wannabe" to 1960's straight earth mother to 1990's lesbian artist and activist. Documenting how Hammer's personal and artistic development grew out of and became a part of the feminist, gay, and AIDS activist movements, TENDER FICTIONS is both the story of an extraordinary filmmaker and a compelling portrait of the changes wrought by a generation of women. "As Hammer examines her emergence, her struggle becomes symbolic of all those who have rejected the ideals by which they were raised...A moving and provocative look at the role of community in an artist's life and the role of the artist in her community." —Lisanne Skyler, Sundance Film Festival
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2 Or 3 Things But Nothing for Sure

Acclaimed author Dorothy Allison (BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA) is profiled in this moving, inspiring film. Combining poetic imagery with powerful readings, it evokes Allison's childhood in the poor white American South of the 1950's, her birth as a writer and feminist, and her coming to terms with a family legacy of incest and abuse. A beautifully realized portrait of an artist and survivor, this stirring film provides important insights into the roots of self-renewal and creativity.
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The Devil Never Sleeps

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (LAS MADRES: THE MOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO) mines the complicated intersections of analysis and autobiography, evidence and hypothesis, even melodrama and police procedure in this ground-breaking work. Early one Sunday morning, the filmmaker receives a phone call informing her that her beloved Tio (Uncle) Oscar Ruiz Almeida has been found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in Chihuahua, Mexico. His widow declares his death a suicide. Most of his family, however, cry murder and point to a number of suspects that include the widow herself. The filmmaker returns to the land of her birth to investigate her uncle's identity and death. Finding clues in old tales of betrayal, lust, and supernatural visitation, Portillo blends traditional and experimental techniques to capture the nuances of Mexican social and family order. Poetic and tragic, humorous and mythic, this film crosses the borders of personal values, cultural mores, and the discipline of filmmaking in a fascinating look at family mysteries. THE DEVIL NEVER SLEEPS was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Eternal Seed

With insightful interviews and rare footage from India's agricultural industry, this keenly observed film depicts Indian women's struggles to use traditional farming practices instead of chemically-based agriculture. Comparing the practices of women who consider seeds sacred with multinational companies' use of sterilized hybrids, this evocative analysis celebrates the scientific basis of women's native traditions in a provocative look at the evolving meanings of healthy land use.
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Woman Being

In a critical examination of changing concepts of beauty and sexuality in modern China, WOMAN BEING illustrates how a flood of Western pop culture is adversely affecting women's expectations and self-worth. Revisiting her hometown Chengdu after a long absence,filmmaker Wen-Jie Qin traces the impact of a newly booming beauty industry in a country where thirty years ago women were beat up for wearing makeup. Combining interviews and footage from glamour photo studios and television, WOMAN BEING explores the rise of a new super-feminine, highly sexualized ideal. "This hard-nosed look at women in contemporary China makes a persuasive case for how the economies of pleasure, beauty, and consumption are transacted through exploiting women's bodies and images. It provides a sobering prognosis of what 'freedom' might mean for women in China today." - Marina Heung, Baruch College, CUNY
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Hózhó of Native Women

"Five Native American Women from diverse tribal backgrounds tell moving stories, from their lives and cultural memory that concern wellness — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — and the connection of Native women through shared experience and cultural legacy. That legacy enables them to merge traditional ways of living and healing with contemporary life in this hopeful, heartfelt, and beautiful piece. Highly recommended for classes in Women's Studies, American Studies, Diversity, and Multicultural Studies." - Jane Caputi, Florida Atlantic University Sundance Film Festival
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The Hidden Story

Its title referring both to women's hidden lives and the hidden work of creating ethnographic realities, this nuanced look at the lives of four rural Indian women paints a portrait of survival and advancement against great odds. Examining the lives of women tenant farmers, it depicts women balancing resistance and activism with a deep commitment to diverse myths and traditions. As scenes of India's changing urban and rural landscapes mingle with candid interviews and first-person narration, this perceptive film showcases how issues of class, education, and political consciousness shape documentary practice and women's circumstances.
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Through Chinese Women's Eyes

"THROUGH CHINESE WOMEN'S EYES offers an insightful journey into the transformations in the lives of Chinese women over the 20th century. In a fascinating overview, anthropologist/director Mayfair Yang documents the attempts to erase gender differences under Mao, today's changing ideas of femininity, and the crystallization of Chinese feminism at the UN Women's conference in Beijing. As propaganda films and news footage of the 1960's, present day television images, and interview footage from the 1990's mingle in a rich visual history, teachers, karaoke singers, organizers, and others share their lives. This sensitive portrayal of the daily experiences and historical memories of Chinese is essential to an understanding of contemporary feminisms." - Faye Ginsburg, New York University
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My Feminism

MY FEMINISM is a critically important look at second wave feminism in the 1990’s, a time rife with anti-feminist backlash. Powerful interviews with feminist leaders including bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, and Urvsahi Vaid are intercut with documentary sequences to engagingly explore the past and present and future status of the women's movement. Discussing the unique contributions of second wave feminism, they explore their racial, economic and ideological differences and shared vision of achieving equality for women. An essential component of women's studies curricula, MY FEMINISM introduces feminism's key themes while exposing the cultural fears underlying the lesbian baiting, backlash, and political extremism which informed feminist dialogues in the 90’s, some of which continues to this day.
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Choice Thoughts

In a witty mix of rare archival footage and sound bites from religious and political leaders, filmmaker Jacqueline Frank takes a fast-paced look at 100 years of the fight for birth control and legalized abortion. Featuring a concise overview of the work of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, CHOICE THOUGHTS illuminates how access to birth control became seen as a human right and how this dialogue continues around present day issues of choice. Discussion Guide available.
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Jane: An Abortion Service

This fascinating political look at a little-known chapter in women's history tells the story of "Jane", the Chicago-based women's health group who performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973 with no formal medical training.
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Breaking the Rule of Thumb

Combining powerful interviews with documentary footage, this timely and compelling film takes a comprehensive look at the issues still confronting battered women twenty years after the beginning of the domestic violence movement. Featuring the stories of three women - one a police officer - who went through the Philadelphia family courts to ensure their safety, BREAKING THE RULE OF THUMB examines contemporary domestic violence in terms of changing historical definitions of abuse. Incorporating individual stories into a strong argument for legal reform, filmmaker Andrea Elovson exposes how domestic violence's seemingly personal gender issues are inextricably tied to flawed ideas of civil justice.
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Jenny and Jenny

This moving, closely observed portrait of adolescence documents one summer in the lives of two 17 year old cousins named Jenny. As North African Jewish immigrants living on Israel's working class Mediterranean coast, the girls' changing environment provides a fascinating window into a culture both religious and secular. In struggling towards self-definition, their experiences embody universal concerns of young women. An intimate look at the cousins at school, at home, and with friends, JENNY AND JENNY sensitively depicts the fragility and power of girls moving towards womanhood.
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Rachel's Daughters

From the makers of the Oscar-winning IN THE SHADOWS OF THE STARS, this fascinating documentary follows a group of women - all breast cancer activists who are fighting or have survived the disease - who are on a personal mission to unearth the causes of breast cancer. The result is RACHEL'S DAUGHTERS, an engaging detective story and detailed analysis of the science and politics of this epidemic. Seeing themselves as spiritual heirs of author Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book SILENT SPRING warned of the dangers of DDT exposure, they focus on issues including chemical contamination, radiation, and electromagnetic exposure to find breast cancer's causes. Addressing environmental racism, inequalities in research funding, and disparities in cancer rates for women of color, they track the effects of social biases on cancer incidence and health care delivery. Incorporating interviews with prominent scientists, documentary footage from high cancer rate areas, and the investigating womens' personal battles to stay healthy, RACHEL'S DAUGHTERS offers a scientifically rigorous and intensely affecting view of this growing epidemic. An unprecedented warning of the dangers of industrialization; it is an inspiring rallying cry for those working to change current views about women's health.
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Girls Still Dream

In this engrossing new documentary, award-winning filmmaker Ateyyat El Abnoudy realistically portrays the challenges facing girls in a country where one in four marries before age sixteen and one in five ever attends school. While girls both in and out of school share ambitions ranging from becoming a doctor to attaining basic reading skills, parents express mixed feelings about education's relevance. An affecting view of how Egyptian women still struggle for such basic human rights as education and the avoidance of compulsory marriage, GIRLS STILL DREAM highlights the cultural clash between traditional values and young women's growing self-awareness in the developing world.
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Girls Like Us

An ethnically diverse group of four working class girls strut, flirt, and testify in this vibrant, affecting portrait of teenage girls' experiences of sexuality. Filmed in South Philadelphia and following its subjects from the ages of 14 to 18, GIRLS LIKE US reveals the conflicts of growing up female by examining the impact of class, sexism, and violence on the dreams and expectations of young girls. Intimate interviews and candid footage introduce Anna, whose need for freedom in a new culture conflicts with her parents' strictness; De'Yona, who dreams of a singing career while coping with family tragedy; Raelene, who confronts violence and issues of self-esteem as a teenage mother; and Lisa, who faces the differences between the feminine roles of her Catholic upbringing and her own wishes. In documenting the friendships, challenges, and triumphs of these four young women, acclaimed filmmakers Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio have created something truly rare: a searingly honest, inspiring depiction of girls' experiences that provokes reaction from and dialogue between educators, parents, and young women alike. GIRLS LIKE US was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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The Audition

The filmmaker's sister, Jane Campion, journeys home to New Zealand to audition her onetime actress mother for a small role as a schoolteacher in her film adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiographies, AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE. The mother is somewhat resistant to the role, the camera and what she perceives as her daughter's manipulation. The daughter has her own resistance-to her mother's dark vision of the world. This deceptively simple drama, filmed with elegance and restraint, reveals nuances of mother/daughter roles while challenging the realist aesthetic.
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Women Who Made the Movies

WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES traces the careers and films of such pioneer women filmmakers as Alice Guy Blaché, Ruth Ann Baldwin, Ida Lupino, Leni Riefenstahl, Dorothy Davenport Reid, Lois Weber, Kathlyn Williams, Cleo Madison, and many other women who made a lasting contribution to cinema history with their films. Featuring clips from the films, rare archival footage and stills, WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES brings to life the works of these remarkable women. Critical viewing for all those interested in the history of cinema.
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My Filmmaking, My Life

Matilde Landeta entered the flourishing Mexican film industry in the 1930s, working her way up from script girl to direct 110 shorts and, in the late 40s, to produce and direct three features, including LA NEGRA ANGUSTIAS. In this engrossing documentary filmed in Mexico City, a vibrant Landeta, now in her 70s, recalls those years. Interviews with Mexican directors Marcela Fernandez-Violante and Maria Novaro enrich this illuminating tribute. Produced by Jane Ryder.
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Women Filmmakers in Russia

Since Lenin's fervent embrace of cinema in the 1920s, more women have worked in the film industry in Russia than in the West. This fascinating documentary - produced during glasnost and prior to the dissolution of the USSR - includes interviews with actresses, critics, technicians and leading directors Kira Muratova and Lana Gogoberidze. Clips from films such as Larissa Shepitko's WINGS are contrasted with more traditional representations of women in "Soviet" cinema. WOMEN FILMMAKERS IN RUSSIA (aka I AM AN OX, I AM A HORSE, I AM A MAN, I AM A WOMAN) was directed by Sally Potter (ORLANDO). A Triple Vision Production.
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The Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash

From her innovative short works to her critically acclaimed feature debut DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the films of Julie Dash have broken new cinematic ground and redefined black women's images on screen. In this wide-ranging interview, Dash talks about her background, development and approach to movie making, as well as the struggles, victories and interdependence of African American women filmmakers. Excerpts from early films and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the dramatic feature about different generations of South Carolina sea islanders which has thrilled audiences across the nation, underscore the originality of this immensely gifted artist.
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Guerrillas In Our Midst

GUERRILLAS IN OUR MIDST presents a savvy exploration of the machinations of the commercial art-world during its boom in the 1980s, and brings the Guerrilla Girls to the screen. This anonymous group of art terrorists has succeeded in putting racism and sexism on the agenda in the art-world since 1985, and their witty and creative tactics have changed the face of political and cultural activism. Interviews with key figures in the Manhattan art scene, record-breaking auction sales, exhibition openings and interviews with the Guerrillas Girls themselves combine to highlight how the myth of the heroic male painter is perpetuated.
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Sphinxes Without Secrets

Since its inception, performance art provided a forum for those artists whose work challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo. In SPHINXES WITHOUT SECRETS, performers, curators and critics unravel the mysteries of performance art and ponder the world women confront today. Performers featured in this stylish program include Diamanda Galas, Holly Hughes (one of the 'NEA Four'), Robbie McCauley and Rachel Rosenthal; intercut with appearances by many others such as Laurie Anderson, Annie Sprinkle and Reno.
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Beyond Imagining

Bold literary visionary Margaret Anderson founded the journal Little Review in 1914, an overlooked but profound influence on American literature. Anderson introduced writers such as Gertrude Stein, Emma Goldman, Djuna Barnes and Ezra Pound, and went to trial for publishing excerpts from James Joyce's new work, ULYSSES. Immersed in her own pointed, charismatic writings, this engrossing profile follows Anderson's inspiring life and travels. Anderson resisted censorship, meager finances and mediocrity in her unflagging search for literary enchantment; this film reveals her life to be her greatest creation.
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Lady Lazarus

LADY LAZARUS weaves a visual response to Sylvia Plath's own readings of her work, including DADDY, ARIEL and selections from THE BELL JAR. Elegiac but unsentimental, this evocative film celebrates the legendary writer, her macabre humor and the resonance of her words. Drawn irresistably towards Plath's haunting voice-recorded during the final years before her death in 1963-the film's figurative Lady Lazarus is a young woman who acts as a spiritual medium for the writer during a seance. Set in Massachusetts and England, where Plath spent her life, LADY LAZARUS translates Plath's poetry into a carousel of stark, deeply poetic imagery.
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The Desert Is No Lady

With provocative imagery and spirited juxtapositions, THE DESERT IS NO LADY looks at the Southwest through the eyes of its leading contemporary women artists and writers, including author Sandra Cisneros. The nine women profiled are Pat Mora (poet), Sandra Cisneros (writer), Lucy Tapahonso (poet), Emmi Whitehorse (painter), Harmony Hammond (painter), Meridel Rubinstein (photographer), Nora Naranjo Morse (sculptor), Pola Lopez de Jaramillo (painter) and Ramona Sakiestewa (tapestry artist). The Southwest is a border territory - where cultures meet and mix - and the work of these nine women from Pueblo, Navajo, Mexican-American and Anglo backgrounds reflects its special characteristics. THE DESERT IS NO LADY is a vibrant celebration of the diversity of women's creativity and changing multicultural America. "An inspiring tapestry of history, imagination and daily life. I highly recommend it." - Vicki L. Ruiz, Arizona State University
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As I Remember It

This intimate portrait of writer Dorothy West explores the forgotten role of women in the Harlem Renaissance. From the perspective of her 83 years, the still active writer relates her memories of growing up African American, privileged and enthralled by literature. Archival footage and photographs, interviews and excerpts from her autobiographical novel, THE LIVING IS EASY, capture West's fascinating story.
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Conjure Women

CONJURE WOMEN is an exciting performance-based documentary exploring the artistry and philosophy of four African American female artists. Celebrated choreographer and dancer Anita Gonzalez was a founding member of and performer with Urban Bush Women and is now Artistic Director of Bandana Women. Robbie McCauley is a critically-acclaimed performance artist and theater director whose personal vision has consistently explored the 'herstory' of Black women. The stunning photography of Carrie Mae Weems captures a variety of images of African Americans. Vocalist and composer Cassandra Wilson (Grammy award winner for Best Jazz Vocalist) has released nine recordings of her work and was acclaimed in the New York Times as "the most important singer to come along in jazz in the last ten years." These four artists use their disciplines to reclaim their 'africanisms', an intuitive experience of what their foreparents had to deny if they were to survive. CONJURE WOMEN is a moving and entertaining record of the work of these remarkable women. It is also, as filmmaker Demetria Royals notes, "telling the story of African Americans in our own distinct and self-defined voices."
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Mary Lou Williams

Pioneering Black American composer-arranger-pianist Mary Lou Williams is one of the most remarkable figures in the history of jazz. In this authoritative film, lively interviews with Williams, Dizzy Gillepsie and Buddy Tate interweave the musical and personal elements of her dramatic life. At the height of her career, she dropped out of music to help drug-addicted musicians in Harlem, making a triumphant comeback fifteen years later. A spirited tribute to Williams’ indelible contribution to American culture, narrated by Roberta Flack.
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Praise House

PRAISE HOUSE combines elements of theater, dance and music based on the rhythms and rituals of Africa. Julie Dash, director of DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, collaborated with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and choreographer of Urban Bush Women, to explore the source of creativity and its effect on three generations of African American women. PRAISE HOUSE shows the emotional prison so many people live in, even as it celebrates the persistence of belief and creativity, and the splendid legacies African Americans have preserved against all odds. Produced for ALIVE TV, KTCA.
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Mother of the River

In this poignant story set in the 1850s, a young slave girl befriends a magical woman in the woods called Mother of the River. Through their friendship the young girl learns about independence, honor, humility and respect for others. MOTHER OF THE RIVER is a rare portrayal of slavery from a young woman's perspective. MOTHER OF THE RIVER was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Academics will find the film especially useful in courses such as Women's Studies, African American Studies and History." -Jacqueline Bobo, Film and Television Studies, University of NC, Chapel Hill
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A Powerful Thang

This innovative drama, set in Ohio, traces an African American couple's search for intimacy and friendship. The spirited, African-identified Yasmine Allen is a writer and single mother who has been dating saxophone teacher Craig Watkins for a month. Wishing to end her self-imposed celibacy following her son's birth, Yasmine has reached a turning point in the relationship-but Craig, the Big Lug, wants to take it slow. Sage advice from friends and family members remind them, "sex is a powerful thang." Like her highly acclaimed CYCLES, Davis's film incorporates animation as well as Afro-Haitian dance in a rich exploration of the lives of African Americans.
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Song Journey

SONG JOURNEY takes Arlene Bowman (Navajo) on the pow-wow circuit in the hope of reviving her connection to traditional Native culture. There she finds a fascinating movement amongst Native American female musicians who are both carrying forward the musical traditions of the First Nations as well as conducting a gentle but effective rebellion against the male monopoly of the "inner circle" represented by the drum. SONG JOURNEY is a powerful illustration of the strength of contemporary Native cultural identity and a wonderful companion to Bowman's award-winning NAVAJO TALKING PICTURE. SONG JOURNEY was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Real Indian

REAL INDIAN is a lighthearted, very personal look at the meaning of cultural identity. As a Lumbee Indian, the filmmaker is constantly confronted with the fact that she doesn't fit any of society's stereotypes for Native Americans. Those stereotypes are imposed by both whites and other Indians, alienating the filmmaker from many of the conventional definitions of Native American identity. REAL INDIAN is a unique look into the fascinating and complex world of Lumbee Indian culture and makes the viewer question perceptions of Native Americans, as well as the meaning of our own cultural identity.
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Home is Struggle

Using interviews, photographs and theatrical vignettes, Home is Struggle explores the lives of women who have come to the United States from different Latin American countries-Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic-for very different reasons, economic and political. In sharing stories about their pasts and present and their views on issues such as sexism and personal and political repression, Home is Struggle presents an absorbing picture of the construction of 'Latina' identity and the immigrant experience.
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Columbus on Trial

Inspired by the controversy surrounding the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of America, Portillo has fashioned a fanciful version of a courtroom were Columbus to return from his grave to stand trial. Cross-examined by the Latino comedy group, Culture Clash, Columbus is charged with atrocities against the Native peoples of the New World, including the rape and violent treatment of women. Satire and parody rule in this dynamic document about American history and colonization.
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¡Adelante Mujeres!

Spanning five centuries, this comprehensive film, produced by the National Women's History Project, focuses exclusively on the history of Mexican-American/Chicana women from the Spanish invasion to the present. Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, art works, and contemporary footage pay tribute to the strength and resilience of women at the center of their families, as activists in their communities, and as contributors to American history. A companion to the ground-breaking Chicana, ¡Adelante Mujeres! is suitable for young adult and college-age audiences, and community and women's groups.
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The Mother: Mitos Maternos

This wry, self-reflective film explores the mythical figure of the mother from multiple viewpoints-documentary and fiction, Spanish and English, theory and experience. The director interviews people on the street, views Hollywood stalwarts of maternal sentiment like Stella Dallas, reads what feminist thinkers have to say on the subject, and copes with life as a single Latina mother. A feminist telenovela for the 90s, THE MOTHER challenges popular beliefs about the mother's place and traditional representations of sacrifice and guilt.
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My Niagara

Grasping the texture of half-expressed desire, this beautifully drawn drama evokes the complex dislocations of an Asian American woman. Shadowed by the death of her mother, Julie Kumagai's life with her widower father is marked by pained, turbulent exchanges. Indifferent to a break-up with her boyfriend and the lure of a long-planned trip, she finds some refuge in her workplace where meets Tetsuro, a young Korean man newly emigrated from Japan who is obsessed with all things American. But together they discover no easy resolutions. MY NIAGARA was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Sally's Beauty Spot

A large black mole above an Asian woman's breast serves as a metaphor for cultural and racial difference in this engaging experimental film. Offscreen women's voices and scenes from THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG parallel and counterpoint Sally's own interracial relationships and emerging self-awareness. A provocative and stylish meditation on Asian femininity.
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Memory/all echo

“Based on selections from late Korean-American writer Theresa H.K. Cha’s ‘Dictee’, this work by filmmaker Yun-ah Hong gives primacy to her staccato, patterned prose. Her chosen words--sometimes written across the screen, more often spoken by three voices--deal with Korean cultural and personal identity in a range of ways both confessional and contemplative, concrete and abstract. Hong weds them to images as varied, including historical footage and silent dramatic enactment. Their often incantatory combination--as if echoing Cha’s thought that ‘truth. . . oblivious to parallels other durations. . . oblivious to itself’ –conveys a recurring sense of loss and need. Though at once emotionally intriguing, ‘Memory/all echo’ still demands multiple viewings for fuller appreciation in art and social studies.” -Jeff Clark, James Madison University Library
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On Cannibalism

King Kong meets the family photograph in this provocative experimental film exploring the West's insatiable appetite for native bodies in museums, world's fairs, and early cinema. Intertwining personal narrative about race and identity in the U.S. with layered footage, artifacts and video effects, ON CANNIBALISM looks back at anthropological truisms with outrage and irony. "...In these times of heated debates around diversity and multiculturalism, ON CANNIBALISM is bound to arouse interesting discussions concerning race, identity and difference. " - Teshome Gabriel, UCLA
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Knowing Her Place

A moving investigation of the cultural schizophrenia experienced by Vasu, an Indian woman who has spent most of her life in the U.S. Vasu's relationships with her mother and grandmother in India and her husband and teenage sons in New York, reveal profound conflicts between her traditional upbringing and her personal and professional aspirations. The film fuses photographs, vérité sequences and experimental techniques to probe the multilayered experience of immigrant women with rare candor and emotional resonance. Useful for courses on immigration, sex roles and the study of documentary form.
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Flaming Ears

FLAMING EARS is a pop sci-fi lesbian fantasy feature set in the year 2700 in the fictive burned-out city of Asche. It follows the tangled lives of three women -- Volley, Nun and Spy. Spy is a comic book artist whose printing presses are burned down by Volley, a sexed-up pyromaniac. Seeking revenge, Spy goes to the lesbian club where Volley performs every night. Before she can enter, Spy gets into a fight and is left wounded, lying in the streets. She is found by Nun--an amoral alien in a red plastic suit with a predilection for reptiles, and who also happens to be Volley’s lover. Nun takes her home and subsequently must hide her from Volley. It’s a story of love and revenge, and an anti-romantic plea for love in its many forms. An avowedly underground film which was shot on Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, FLAMING EARS is original for its playful disruption of narrative conventions (the story is a thread rather than a backbone in the film), its witty approach to film genre, and its visual splendor.
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The Body of a Poet

An imaginary biopic, THE BODY OF A POET centers on the efforts of a group of young lesbians of color to devise a fitting tribute to one of this century's great visionaries. Its genre-bending celebration of the life and work of Audre Lorde, black lesbian poet and political activist, daringly meshes diverse media conventions and techniques as it explores Lorde's trajectory from birth to death. Refreshing and visually stunning, this brave film features assured acting by a dedicated cast and a taut script comprising the work of contemporary African American lesbian poets.
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Thank God I'm a Lesbian

THANK GOD I'M A LESBIAN is an uplifting and entertaining documentary about the diversity of lesbian identities. Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Lee Pui Ming, Becki Ross, Julia Creet, LaVerne Monette, Sarah Schulman, Chris Bearchell, Chris Phibbs, Christine Delphy and Jeanelle Laillou speak frankly and articulately about issues ranging from coming out, racism, bisexuality, and SM, to the evolution of the feminist and lesbian movements, outing and compulsory heterosexuality. Inclusive of various and often contradictory points of view, THANK GOD I'M A LESBIAN successfully proposes an alternate vision of self and community that is realistic and positive. This fast-paced documentary was edited by Geraldine Peroni who was nominated for an Academy Award for The Player.
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Shinjuku Boys

From the makers of DREAM GIRLS, SHINJUKU BOYS introduces three onnabes who work as hosts at the New Marilyn Club in Tokyo. Onnabes are women who live as men and have girlfriends, although they don't usually identify as lesbians. As the film follows them at home and on the job, all three talk frankly to the camera about their gender-bending lives, revealing their views about women, sex, transvestitism and lesbianism. Alternating with these illuminating interviews are fabulous sequences shot inside the Club, patronized almost exclusively by heterosexual women who have become disappointed with real men. This is a remarkable documentary about the complexity of female sexuality in Japan today.
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Age 12

Unforgettable in its vivid construction of lesbian identity, AGE 12 is a riveting amalgam of forbidden desire, transgression and piercing self-recognition. Raw adolescent memories of girl cliques in kilts, cruel games and a hidden stash of Playboys counterpoint staged scenes exploring mechanisms of power and submission.
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Dream Girls

This fascinating documentary, produced for the BBC, opens a door into the spectacular world of the Takarazuka Revue, a highly successful musical theater company in Japan. Each year, thousands of girls apply to enter the male-run Takarazuka Music School. The few who are accepted endure years of a highly disciplined and reclusive existence before they can join the Revue, choosing male or female roles. DREAM GIRLS offers a compelling insight into gender and sexual identity and the contradictions experienced by Japanese women today.
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Outlaw

Leslie Feinberg, a self-identified "gender outlaw" who has spent much of zir life passing as a man, speaks with passion and intelligence about zir experiences in this film manifesto. Raw and confrontational, this film asks its audience to examine their assumptions about the "nature" of gender and calls for more sensitivity and awareness of the human rights and the dignity of transgendered people. Feinberg is the author of STONE BUTCH BLUES (Firebrand), an account of a working-class lesbian who passes as a man.
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I, Doll

There are more Barbie Dolls* in the U.S. than human beings. Barbie was fashioned after a German prostitute doll named "Lilli." These are just two of the many Barbie facts revealed in this hilarious documentary on the Barbie phenomenon. Interviews with adoring fans as well as culturally diverse critics of Barbie's unrealistic body image for women, express feelings, both pro and con, about the 6-ounces of plastic that became a national icon.
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Stigmata

STIGMATA is a riveting look at body modification such as tattooing, cutting, piercing and branding, practices which are becoming increasingly popular amongst women. Although these activities are considered radical, the film suggests that they are no more physically radical than cosmetic surgery; and these women are transforming their bodies against conventional stereotypes of femininity rather than to conform to them. STIGMATA explores concepts of beauty, self-determination and the outer limits of female sexuality. Please note that STIGMATA includes some extremely explicit footage.
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Your Name in Cellulite

A wickedly funny satire about the disparity between a woman's natural beauty and the ideal promoted by the mega-billion dollar advertising industry, this animated film shows us how far we will go to change the shape of our bodies to meet the demands of an impossible image. But the picture-perfect exterior can be maintained by our heroine only if she restrains her body's natural spontaneity. YOUR NAME IN CELLULITE visually ponders at what point the body will say "Enough is enough!" and take matters into its own hands.
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Beyond Beijing

The 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and the parallel Forum (NGO) that took place in Beijing assembled the largest global gathering of women in recorded history. BEYOND BEIJING, a personal document of the epoch-making events, captures their exciting spirit and shows the strength of the worldwide movement to improve the status of women. Moving back and forth from NGO workshops convened by grassroots activists to ceremonies commemorating women's art and achievements, the film also includes informal cross-cultural get-togethers, compelling North-South exchanges and candid interviews with individual participants. English and Spanish versions available. Discussion Guide/Action Kit available.
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Rebel Hearts

REBEL HEARTS is a captivating documentary about the abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the anti-slavery movement of the early 19th Century. Daughters of a wealthy slave-holding family from Charleston, SC, the Grimke sisters astonished everyone-family, friends and abolitionists-when they left the South to become the first female agents of the anti-slavery movement. Their passionate rhetoric and fiery speaking style led them to the front ranks of the abolitionist movement and set the stage for the establishment of the women's rights movement. A combination of interviews - - including one with historian Gerda Lerner - - dramatic performances and rare archival footage creates a lively portrait of these extraordinary women and their contribution to American history.
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Women's Lives and Choices

This important and timely series deals with women's health and the social, cultural and economic factors underlying reproductive choices. VENTRE LIVRE (Ana Luiza Azevedo) paints a grim picture of life for women in Brazil where sterilization and abortion are often the only forms of birth control available. RISHTE (Manjira Datta) explores the practice of male sex preference in India and its ramifications for women. THE DESIRED NUMBER (by the award-winning director of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL Ngozi Onwurah) uses the Ibu Eze ceremony in Nigeria to highlight how family planning issues often conflict with traditional family values. The series was produced by Daniel Riesenfeld for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
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After the Montreal Massacre

On December 6, 1989, a gunman entered the engineering building at the University of Montreal and killed fourteen women. This forceful, moving documentary situates this extraordinary crime within the context of other kinds of violence against women. A wounded survivor and other students describe the harrowing event, widely understood as a backlash against feminism. Activists and journalists explain its impact, linking the massacre with cases of rape, sexual harassment and torture worldwide. This lucid, thought-provoking film is indispensable for organizations dealing with violence against women, as well as for women's studies classes.
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The Vienna Tribunal

Highlights of moving personal testimonies at the Global Tribunal on Violations of Women's Rights-held in conjunction with U.N. World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993-reveal why women's rights need to be seen as human rights. Made in conjunction with the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University, THE VIENNA TRIBUNAL is not simply a film documenting events of the past, but a thought-provoking analysis of the abuses women suffer all over the world.
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Calling the Ghosts

An extraordinarily powerful documentary, CALLING THE GHOSTS is the first-person account of two women caught in a war where rape was as much an everyday weapon as bullets or bombs. Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and lawyers, enjoyed the lives of "ordinary modern women" in Bosnia-Herzegovina until one day former neighbors became tormentors. Taken to the notorious Serb concentration camp of Omarska, the two women, like other Muslim and Croat women interned there, were systematically tortured and humiliated by their Serb captors. Once released, the pair turned personal struggles for survival into a larger fight for justice-aiding other women similarly brutalized and successfully lobbying to have rape included in the international lexicon of war crimes by the UN Tribunal at the Hague. Chronicling the two women's experience and their remarkable transformation, CALLING THE GHOSTS is an indispensable resource for deepening understanding of human rights abuses and combating violence against women in the global arena.
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Honoring Our Voices

Sharing their stories about recovery and healing, six Native women of different ages and backgrounds talk about the choices they have made to overcome the hardships of family violence and end the cycle of abuse and silence. Through the far-reaching changes in their lives, they reveal the rewards of empowering themselves and their families, as well as the strengths of counseling based in Native healing strategies and traditions. Directed by Judi Jeffrey (Metis) and produced by the Native Counselling Services of Alberta, this thought-provoking documentary is a valuable tool for education, prevention and intervention.
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Voices Heard Sisters Unseen

VOICES HEARD SISTERS UNSEEN is a powerful and inspirational film showing how survivors of domestic violence are working to change the way the system treats battered women in search of justice and safety. Interviews, poetry, dance and music combine to present a feminist analysis about how courts, police and social services 're-victimize' battered women who are deaf, disabled, lesbians, prostitutes, HIV-positive or without official immigrant status. VOICES HEARD SISTERS UNSEEN is an important call for multi-issue activism and an integrated response to services for battered women.
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DiAna's Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front

Realizing the extreme inadequacy of local information on AIDS prevention, cosmetologist DiAna DiAna, with her partner Dr. Bambi Sumpter, took on the task of educating the Black community in Columbia, South Carolina. This provocative, funny and informative film documents the growth of the South Carolina AIDS Education Network which operates out of DiAna's Hair Ego, the beauty salon where a condom display is as common as a basket of curlers! DiANA'S HAIR EGO has been used by hundreds of educational and community organizations as a model for making a difference.
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Margaret Sanger

MARGARET SANGER: A PUBLIC NUISANCE highlights Sanger's pioneering strategies of using media and popular culture to advance the cause of birth control. It tells the story of her arrest and trial, using actuality films, vaudeville, courtroom sketches and re-enactments, video effects and Sanger's own words. This witty and inventive documentary looks at how Sanger effectively changed public discussion of birth control from issues of morality to issues of women's health and economic well-being. Executive producers of the program are Barbara Abrash, Esther Katz and Laurence Hegarty. MARGARET SANGER was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Underexposed

Combining drama and documentary, UNDEREXPOSED: THE TEMPLE OF THE FETUS is a savvy and creative probe into high-tech baby-making. The fictional framework of a TV journalist who unearths the ethical complications associated with new reproductive technologies allows thefilm to present complex documentary information about this issue in a clear and insightful way. From the director of I NEED YOUR FULL COOPERATION.
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Dialogues with Madwomen

"I was always so afraid that someone would ask me (where I was when JFK was shot), and I would have to say I was in a mental institution", says director Allie Light. This moving and informative film features seven women--including the filmmaker--describing their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria and recovery. Candid interviews are enriched with dramatic reenactments and visualizations of each woman's history, emotions, and dreams--the private symbols of madness and sanity. The social dimensions of women and mental illness are revealed in testimony about sexual assault, incest, racism and homophobia, the abuses of the medical establishment, family, and church. Acknowledging that "madness" is often a way of explaining women's self-expression, this film charges us to listen to the creativity and courage of survivors. Produced by the Academy Award winning filmmakers of IN THE SHADOWS OF THE STARS, DIALOGUES WITH MADWOMEN is a ground-breaking film about women and mental illness.
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A Healthy Baby Girl

In 1963 filmmaker Judith Helfand's mother was prescribed the ineffective, carcinogenic synthetic hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES), meant to prevent miscarriage and ensure a healthy baby. At twenty-five, Judith was diagnosed with DES-related cervical cancer. After a radical hysterectomy she went to her family's home to heal and picked up her camera. The resulting video-diary is a fascinating exploration of how science, marketing and corporate power can affect our deepest relationships. Shot over five years, A HEALTHY BABY GIRL tells a story of survival, mother-daughter love, family renewal, and community activism. Intimate, humorous, and searing, it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the relationship between women's health, public policy, medical ethics and corporate responsibility. A HEALTHY BABY GIRL was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Cancer in Two Voices

“I’m the first among our friends to have cancer... Many will see their future in the way I handle mine,” Barbara Rosenblum wrote after learning she had advanced breast cancer. For three years Barbara had yet to live, she and her partner, Sandra Butler, documented their lives with courage and frankness. This stunning film provides a unique view into the intimacy of a relationship in a time of crisis. The two women talk about their identity as Jewish women and as lesbians, and they speak openly about the difficult issues each is facing: anger, guilt, feelings about their bodies and changing sexuality, about death and loss. Never once losing either its balance or its fierce emotional integrity, CANCER IN TWO VOICES provides a practical example of dealing with death with sensitivity and a deep commitment to living.
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Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter

With profound insight and a healthy dose of levity, COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER chronicles the various stages of a mother's Alzheimer's Disease and the evolution of a daughter's response to the illness. The desire to cure the incurable-to set right her mother's confusion and forgetfulness, to temper her mother's obsessiveness-gives way to an acceptance which is finally liberating for both daughter and mother. Neither depressing nor medical, COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER is much more than a story about Alzheimer's and family caregiving. It is ultimately a life-affirming exploration of family relations, aging and change, the meaning of memory, and love.
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Halving the Bones

Skeletons in the closet? HALVING THE BONES delivers a surprising twist to this tale. This cleverly-constructed film tells the story of Ruth, a half-Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who has inherited a can of bones that she keeps on a shelf in her closet. The bones are half of the remains of her dead Japanese grandmother, which she is supposed to deliver to her estranged mother. A narrative and visual web of family stories, home movies and documentary footage, HALVING THE BONES provides a spirited exploration of the meaning of family, history and memory, cultural identity and what it means to have been named after Babe Ruth!
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Japanese American Women

The stereotype of the polite, docile, exotic Asian woman is shattered in this documentary in which a dozen women speak about their experiences as part of the “model minority”. JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMEN explores the ambivalent feelings the women have both towards Japan and the United States. The underlying theme is the burden of being different, of being brought up “one of a kind” as opposed to growing up part of an ethnic community. An uneasy feeling prevails of being neither Japanese nor American, and the documentary ultimately becomes the story of Japanese American women and their search for a sense of place.
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Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself

REMEMBERING WEI YI-FANG, REMEMEBERING MYSELF: An Autobiography charts the influence of the filmmaker’s six-year experience as an African American woman in Taiwan after college graduation. The highly original film recounts Welbon’s discovery, through another language and culture, of being respected for who she is, without the constant of American racism, and how it helped her achieve self-knowledge. Linking this story with that of earlier women in Welbon’s family, the richly textured memoir blends dramatic sequences with documentary footage.
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Who’s Going to Pay for These Donuts, Anyway?

A brilliant collage of interviews, family photographs, archival footage and personal narration, this film documents Japanese American video artist Janice Tanaka’s search for her father after a 40 year separation. The two reunited when Tanaka found her father living in a halfway house for the mentally ill. Telling the moving story of her search as well as what she discovered about history, cultural identity, memory and family, WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THESE DONUTS, ANYWAY? is a rare look at connections between racism and mental illness.
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History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige

Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri’s family was among the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And like so many who were in the camps, Tajiri’s family wrapped their memories of that experience in a shroud of silence and forgetting. Ruminating on the difficult nature of representing the past – especially a past that exists outside traditional historic accounts – Tajiri blends interviews, memorabilia, a pilgrimage to the camp where her mother was interned, and the story of her father, who had been drafted pre-Pearl Harbor and returned to find his family’s house removed from its site. Throughout, she surveys the impact of images (real images, desired images made real, and unrealized dream images). The film draws from a variety of sources: Hollywood spectacle, government propaganda, newsreels, memories of the living, and sprits of the dead, as well as Tajiri’s own intuitions of a place she has never visited, but of which she has a memory. More than simply calling attention to the gaps in the story of the Japanese American internment, this important film raises questions about collective history – questions that prompt Tajiri to daringly re-imagine and re-create what has been stolen and what has been lost.
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Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice

Yuri Kochiyama was a Japanese American woman who lived in Harlem for more than 40 years and had a long history of activism on a wide range of issues. Through extensive interviews with family and friends, archival footage, music and photographs, YURI KOCHIYAMA chronicles this remarkable woman’s contribution to social change through some of the most significant events of the 20th century, including the Black Liberation movement, the struggle for Puerto Rican independence, and the Japanese American Redress movement. In an era of divided communities and racial conflict, Kochiyama offered an outstanding example of an equitable and compassionate multiculturalist vision.
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Bedevil

BEDEVIL is the stunning debut feature from Tracey Moffatt (NIGHT CRIES, NICE COLORED GIRLS) and the first feature directed by an Australian Aboriginal woman.
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What My Mother Told Me

Exquisitely beautiful and profoundly moving, WHAT MY MOTHER TOLD ME is a dramatic journey towards self discovery. The story focuses on Jesse, a young woman from England, who goes to Trinidad to bury her father. Reluctantly she agrees to meet her mother, whom she thought had abandoned her when she was a child. Her mother tells her stories, revealing a troubled and violent marriage, and Jesse is forced to face the truth about her past. WHAT MY MOTHER TOLD ME cleverly evokes complex connections between history, memory, violence and cultural identity.
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Beyond Black and White

BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE is a personal exploration of the filmmaker’s bicultural heritage (Caucasian and Asian/Begali) in which she relates her experiences to those of five other women from various biracial backgrounds. In lively interviews and group discussions these women reveal how they have been influenced by images of women in American media, how racism has affected them, and how their families and environments have shaped their racial identities. Their experiences are placed within the context of history, including miscegenation laws and governmental racial classifications. BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE is a remarkable celebration of diversity in American society.
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Night Cries

On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures mask an almost palpable hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised in white families. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides ironic counterpoint. Moffatt’s first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional power.
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The Body Beautiful

This bold, stunning exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her Black daughter who embarks on a modeling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial and sexual identity on their charged, intensely loving bond. At the heart of Onwurah’s brave excursion into her mother’s scorned sexuality is a provocative interweaving of memory and fantasy. The filmmaker plumbs the depths of maternal strength and daughterly devotion in an unforgettable tribute starring her real-life mother, Madge Onwurah.
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Siren Spirits

SIREN SPIRITS is a wonderful feature comprising four short dramas directed by women of color, produced by Leda Serene for the British Film Institute and BBC Television. Ngozi Onwurah’s WHITE MEN ARE CRACKING UP uses a murder mystery to explore the legacies of British colonialism and the exoticization of Black women. Using magic realism, MEMSAHIB RITA by Pratibha Parmar looks at the physical and emotional violence of racism. Shanti is haunted by both the racist taunts of nationalist white youths and the memory of her white mother. Dani Williamson’s GET ME TO THE CREMATORIUM ON TIME is a moving portrait of undying love and grief. When her husband of twenty years dies, Bonetta is overcome by her loss and is taken to a mental hospital; but she knows she must escape to get to the crematorium to say farewell to the man with whom she has shared her life. In Frances-Anne Solomon’s BIDESHI a 50-year-old Bengali man lies in a coma in hospital, his soul stuck in a dark tunnel near death, until a resolution of his conflict with his daughter liberates his spirit. SIREN SPIRITS shows the powerful complexity of family and race relations in contemporary society and is testament to the brilliant creativity of these four directors. SIREN SPIRITS is only available as an 80-minute program.
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And Still I Rise

Inspired by a poem by Maya Angelou, this powerful film explores images of Black women in the media, focusing on the myths surrounding Black women's sexuality. Like COLOR ADJUSTMENT, in which Marlon Riggs looked at images of Black people on television, AND STILL I RISE uses images from popular culture to reveal the way the media misrepresents Black women's sexuality. A combination of fear and fascination produces a stereotypical representation which in turn impacts on the real lives of Black women. AND STILL I RISE intercuts historical and media images with hard-hitting contemporary views of women of African heritage as they struggle to create a new and empowered perspective. Both a celebration and a critique, AND STILL I RISE is essential viewing for those interested in African American studies, women's studies, media studies and popular culture. From the director of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL and COFFEE COLORED CHILDREN.
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Home Away from Home

A bittersweet drama that unfolds almost without dialogue, this prizewinning short film from Sankofa Film and Video conveys the isolation of immigrant women’s experiences. Miriam lives with her children in a cramped and dreary house near the airport where she works. The planes coming and going overhead remind her of how far removed she is from her rural African roots. Eventually Miriam constructs a beautiful mud hut in her garden, a magical space which takes her away from the loneliness crowding her suburban existence. Although her neighbors are intolerant, her daughter Fumi learns something about the African side of herself.
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Ventre Livre

Ventre Livre is only available as part of a series "Women's Lives and Choices." View series.
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Miss Amy and Miss May

Amy Bailey, daughter of an eminent Black family, was a leader of the Jamaican women’s movement in the 1930s. May Farquharson, daughter of a wealthy white planter, fought for reproductive rights for women and reforms to benefit the elderly. Combining contemporary interviews and dramatized scenes from their long, unlikely friendship, this fascinating docudrama covers the history of the fight for social justice for women in Jamaica. Useful for courses on women’s history, women and development and Caribbean studies. A Phase 3 Production.
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I Is a Long-Memoried Woman

This extraordinary film chronicles the history of slavery through the eyes of Caribbean women. A striking combination of monologue, dance, and song—griot-style—conveys a young African woman’s quest for survival in the new world. Based on award-winning poems by Guyanese British writer Grace Nichols, the evocatively rendered story charts abusive conditions on sugar plantations, acts of defiance and the rebellion which led to eventual freedom. Produced by a Black women’s collective, I IS A LONG-MEMORIED WOMAN illuminates Black diasporic culture and heritage.
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Canto a la Vida

CANTO A LA VIDA illuminates exile through the remarkable stories of Chilean women, including the assassinated president’s widow Hortensia de Allende, their niece, author Isabel Allende, and folk singer Isabel Parra. In this powerful exploration of cultural displacement, language loss and personal dislocation, seven different women discuss their altered notions of home, work and daily life. Moving testimonies are underscored by archival footage, paintings, songs and memories. Since Pinochet’s ouster in 1989, many Chileans have journeyed back to their birthplace, and are now faced with the difficult decision of whether to remain in Chile or return to their adoptive countries. Filmmaker Briones, who herself left Chile in 1986, presents a beautiful, unforgettable testament to life in exile.
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The Good Wife of Tokyo

“Forget those demure ladies with fragrant fans and meet the new breed of Japanese women!” - Amanda Casson, London Film Festival. Kazuko Hohki goes back to Tokyo with her band, the ‘Frank Chickens’, after living in England for 15 years. This wry and delightful film records her re-experiencing of Japan after a long absence, examining traditional attitudes to women and those of Kazuko’s friends who are trying to live differently. “This is a remarkable film which will appeal to general audiences as well as educators teaching about women, the family and/or religion in contemporary Japan. It deserves to be widely shown.” — Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership Center for Educational Media.
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Ripples of Change

Powerful political analysis is combined with a passionate personal story in this exceptional documentary about the Japanese women’s liberation movement in the 1970’s and its influence on contemporary Japanese society. Director Nanako Kurihara left her homeland in the 1980’s, frustrated by the lack of interesting roles for women in Japan. In New York, she met a Japanese woman who had been involved in the women’s liberation movement in Japan in the 1970’s. Kurihara returned to Japan, bringing together interviews with veterans of the movement, fascinating archival footage and her personal impressions to produce a film which explores the meaning of the liberation movement, the factors that motivated it and the effect it has had on people’s attitudes. RIPPLES OF CHANGE is an excellent resource for the study of global feminism, women’s roles and Japanese society.
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Troubled Harvest

This award-winning documentary examines the lives of women migrant workers from Mexico and Central America as they work in grape, strawberry and cherry harvests in California and the Pacific Northwest. Interviews with women farm workers reveal the dangerous health effects of pesticides on themselves and their children, the problems they encounter as working mothers of young children, and the destructive consequences of U.S. immigration policies on the unity of their families. Featuring an interview with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.
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Amazon Sisters

AMAZON SISTERS portrays the vision and strength of women surviving in the hotly contested Amazon rainforests. While international attention has focused on saving the rainforests, considerably less attention has been paid to the plight of the human inhabitants of Amazonia. Women are at the frontline of the struggle to save their environment and to rebuild a region suffering the effects of inappropriate development. “A film which beautifully expresses the strength, humor and ability of the women of the Amazon Region. It sharply reminds us, however, that simply feeling romantic about rainforests isn’t enough. The need for serious support for both the environment and the health and safety of the people there is made abundantly clear.” —Margaret Prosser, National Women’s Secretary Transport and General Workers Union.
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Something Like a War

SOMETHING LIKE A WAR is a chilling examination of India’s family planning program from the point of view of the women who are its primary targets. It traces the history of the family planning program and exposes the cynicism, corruption and brutality which characterizes its implementation. As the women themselves discuss their status, sexuality, fertility control and health, it is clear that their perceptions are in conflict with those of the program. SOMETHING LIKE A WAR is an excellent resource for the study of international development and aid, population control, reproductive rights, health and women.
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Shoot for the Contents

Reflecting on Mao’s famous saying, “Let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend,” Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film—whose title refers in part to a Chinese guessing game—is a unique excursion into the maze of allegorical naming and storytelling in China. The film ponders questions of power and change, politics and culture, as refracted by Tiananmen Square events. It offers at the same time an inquiry into the creative process of filmmaking, intricately layering Chinese popular songs and classical music, the sayings of Mao and Confucius, women’s voices and the words of artists, philosophers and other cultural workers. Video images emulate the gestures of calligraphy and contrast with film footage of rural China and stylized interviews. Like traditional Chinese opera, Trinh’s film unfolds through “bold omissions and minute depictions” to render “the real in the illusory and the illusory in the real.” Exploring color, rhythm and the changing relationship between ear and eye, this meditative documentary realizes on screen the shifts of interpretation in contemporary Chinese culture and politics.
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A Tale of Love

Portraying the Vietnamese immigrant experience through Kieu, A TALE OF LOVE follows the quest of a woman in love with ‘Love’. The film is loosely inspired by THE TALE OF KIEU, the Vietnamese national poem of love which Vietnamese people see as a mythical biography of their ‘motherland,’ marked by internal turbulence and foreign domination. A free-lance writer, Kieu also works as a model for a photographer who idealizes the headless female body and who captures Kieu sheathed by transparent veils. Voyeurism runs through the history of love narratives and voyeurism is here one of the threads that structures the ‘narrative’ of the film. Exposing the fiction of love in love stories and the process of consumption, A TALE OF LOVE marginalizes traditional narrative conventions and opens up a denaturalized space of acting where performed reality, memory and dream constantly pass into one another. Sublimely beautiful to watch, A TALE OF LOVE eloquently evokes an understanding of the allusive and powerful connections between love, sensuality, voyeurism and identity.
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As the Mirror Burns

Most representations of the Vietnam War show women as innocent by-standers who sometimes became caught up in the conflict but who were otherwise uninvolved. AS THE MIRROR BURNS is an amazing redressing of this misconception. It is estimated that over 70% of the guerrilla forces in the war were women who were not victims but who were active participants in the struggle against foreign domination. AS THE MIRROR BURNS shows how the war still shapes life for the women of Vietnam as they continue their work in the fields and factories, on the roads and in the homes, to restore peace to their land. Study guide available.
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Sidet: Forced Exile

During the past two decades, more than two million refugees have left Ethiopia. Famine, poverty and political strife as well as the religious persecution caused by Eritrea’s annexation have already cost countless lives. Narrated by Salem Mekuria, an Ethiopian filmmaker in the US, this lucid documentary presents the life stories of three women refugees in neighboring Sudan. It traces the attempts of individual women to survive displacement, resettlement camps and ineffectual bureaucracy. An astute, politically sophisticated analysis of social and economic crisis from the perspective of Third World women.
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Pain, Passion and Profit

From the director of Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, PAIN, PASSION AND PROFIT is an inspirational look at women entrepreneurs through the eyes of the Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick, who has always maintained a strong commitment to the idea of “profits with principles.” Several women in Africa who have successfully developed small-scale business enterprises in their own communities provide a focus for Roddick to pose questions about how the role and status of women affects their enterprises and how those enterprises provide a means of community and economic development for women. PAIN, PASSION AND PROFIT gives an in-depth look at global feminism and economic development as well as a personal and spirited view of the connections between the experiences of women entrepreneurs in the First and Third Worlds.
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Conversations Across the Bosphorous

CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE BOSPHOROUS intertwines the stories of two Muslim women from Istanbul - Gokcen, from an orthodox Islamic family who takes off her veil after years of struggle; and Mine, from a secular family, who discovers her faith living as an immigrant in San Francisco. Both women demonstrate how their relationship to their faith has shaped and determined their personal lives. Combining evocative visual imagery with poetic and lively debate, CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE BOSPHOROUS provides a deeper understanding of Turkish society and the current tensions between fundamentalist and secular forces.
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Hidden Faces

Originally intended as a film about internationally renowned feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi, HIDDEN FACES develops into a fascinating portrayal of Egyptian women’s lives in Muslim society. In this collaborative documentary, Safaa Fathay, a young Egyptian woman living in Paris, returns home to interview the famed writer and activist, but becomes disillusioned with her. Illuminated by passages from El Saadawi’s work, the film follows Fathay’s journey to her family home and discovers similar complex frictions between modernity and tradition. Her mother’s decision to return to the veil after twenty years and her cousins’ clitoridectomies reveal a disturbing renewal of fundamentalism. This absorbing documentary broaches the contradictions of feminism in a Muslim environment; a startling, unforgettable picture of contemporary women in the Arab world.
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Algeria: Women At War

ALGERIA: WOMEN AT WAR offers a rare insight into the key role Algerian women played in their country’s liberation struggle from the French thirty years ago and their equally important place in today’s politics. Produced for Channel Four Television, this high-quality documentary uses a combination of interviews and archival footage to ponder the position of women in Algeria in the light of thirty years of single party rule, the rise of Islam and increasing political violence. It raises critical questions about the balancing act between women’s and national liberation struggles.
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The Desired Number

The Desired Number is only available as part of a series "Women's Lives and Choices." View series.
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Women of Niger

Niger is a traditionally Islamic country where authorized polygamy and Muslim fundamentalism clash with the country’s struggle for democracy. In elections in 1993, men voted by proxy for their different wives and daughters. Women who speak out about their rights have been physically attacked and ex-communicated by the ayatollahs. Working together, women are the most ardent defenders of democracy, which offers the best hope of winning the equal rights which are still denied them. Critical viewing for those interested in women’s human rights and the impact of fundamentalism.
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Monday’s Girls

This fascinating documentary, by the filmmaker of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL, follows two young Nigerian women’s different experiences of a traditional rite of passage. Young virgins, irabo, spend five weeks in “fattening rooms”, emerging to dance before the villagers and to be married. The girls wear heavy copper coils on their legs to enforce inactivity as they are waited on and honored by their families. One of the young village women, Florence, is keen to take part. But Akisiye, who returns from the city at her father’s behest, is not certain she wants to. Combining voice-over and interviews, MONDAY'S GIRLS documents tradition, modernity, dissent and contradiction in African women’s lives.
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The Women Next Door

THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR is a thoughtful and emotive documentary about women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israeli director Michal Aviad was living in the United States when the Intifada broke out in the West Bank and Gaza. Filled with questions about how the Occupation affected women on both sides of the conflict she set off in a journey through Israel and the Occupied Territories with two other women -- a Palestinian assistant director and an Israeli cinematographer. The film explores the roles that the Occupation designated for women on both sides and the questions it raises. In a world of occupation, what is the meaning of femininity, motherhood, birth, violence, compassion and solidarity between women? Can the womanhood of Israelis and Palestinians be separated from their political reality? The women next door are the women on either side of the border, as well as, those who face the camera and those who stand behind it. THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR provides a unique perspective on women’s lives in the Middle East and the critical part they play in rebuilding societies ravaged by war.
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The Veiled Hope

THE VEILED HOPE explores the personal and political challenges facing Palestinian women through a series of wonderful portraits of women living on the Gaza and West Bank. The women explain how in their daily lives as doctors, schoolteachers and activists they are working to rebuild Palestinian cultural identity. They also provide a rare insight into the complex feelings women have surrounding the emergence of political Islamic movements. THE VEILED HOPE gives an in-depth analysis of the position of Palestinian women as they juggle women’s and national liberation struggles.
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Lebanon: Bits and Pieces

LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES is an exquisitely beautiful and profoundly moving exploration of the myths and realities of present-day Lebanon, as reflected through the voices of women. During Olga Naccache's childhood, Lebanon was known to the outside world as an exemplary model of peace in the heart of an Arab Middle East dominated by dictators. Following a seven year absence, Naccache returned to Lebanon with a camera to record the dreams, disappointments and worries of women of her own generation and to meet a younger generation of women whose only memory is that of war. Through these voices, Naccache’s own voyage of rediscovery is revealed — rediscovery of her country and of herself.
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Brincando El Charco

Refreshingly sophisticated in both form and content, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO contemplates the notion of “identity” through the experiences of a Puerto Rican woman living in the US. In a wonderful mix of fiction, archival footage, processed interviews and soap opera drama, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO tells the story of Claudia Marin, a middle-class, light-skinned Puerto Rican photographer/videographer who is attempting to construct a sense of community in the US. Confronting the simultaneity of both her privilege and her oppression, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO becomes a meditation on class, race and sexuality as shifting differences. BRINCANDO EL CHARCO was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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Sex and the Sandinistas

Nicaragua is known for the Sandinista Revolution, an inspiring struggle for national liberation. What has never been told before is the story of how homosexuals, in the teeth of a machista Roman Catholic culture, battled for their own space inside the Revolution. What really happened when the Sandinistas found their soldiers and revolutionary comrades falling in love with the wrong sex? The unique story is related through the drama of personal experience. Lupita tells of life as a 14 year-old urban guerilla making cocktails in her back room--and what happened when she came out as a lesbian. Alfonso explains how he discovered cottaging in Managua’s ruined Cathedral. Walleska confesses to running away to join the Sandinista People’s army at 13, and undercover lesbian relationships in uniform. In the film, ex-President Daniel Ortega analyses the struggle within the FSLN over respect for lesbian and gay rights. The gay community is shown taking sex education to the streets and into the buses in Nicaragua’s innovative AIDS program. And the emerging gay and lesbian movement asks how will they survive the threat of a hostile new government since the Sandinistas lost power? SEX AND THE SANDINISTAS also explores the hidden world of lesbian and gay culture in Managua- from safe sex demonstrations to drag shows; from lesbian love poetry to debates about butch/femme role playing; and a tribute to Nicaragua’s homosexual indigenous ancestors. Without assuming any prior knowledge of Nicaraguan history, the film brings to life the extraordinary and valuable experience of lesbians and gays coming out in the whirlwind of a Latin American revolution.
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Dry Kisses Only

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, this marvelous film explores the lesbian subtext of classical films—the dry kisses of the film’s title. Hollywood movies are re-edited to find the truth behind the relationships between the heroine and the “other woman.” Dykella and Dykenna chew over lesbian vampire stereotypes. And gossip columnist Lady Manilla Lively gives the inside scoop on lesbians in today’s Hollywood. DRY KISSES ONLY tells a story at once obvious and long-overdue, affirming the validity of lesbian readings of popular culture and the tenuous truths of gossip.
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Meeting of Two Queens

In this witty, luminous film, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich star in the roles of their lives—cast as lovers by Chilean video artist Barriga. Queen Christina meets the Scarlet Empress; Anna Karenina and Blonde Venus transcend tragedy. This beguiling film links the queens of the silver screen through motifs such as the cigarette and a circuitry of meaningful gazes and gestures. Clips from their signature roles are remounted in silent film style vignettes to tell a burgeoning tale of desire and destiny.
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War on Lesbians

WAR ON LESBIANS is a witty critique of the invisibility of positive images of lesbians and a satire of talk show television and radio self-help programs. It features supposed experts on sexuality being interviewed by a television talk show anchorwoman. These “experts” espouse the many, often ill-informed, theories presented to explain homosexuality. Intercut with the drama are actual recordings of a radio talkback therapist and documentary interviews with lesbians. In a bright and savvy way, WAR ON LESBIANS reveals how far many of the myths about lesbians are from truth. WAR ON LESBIANS is the perfect post-script to Jane Cottis’s hilarious feature film DRY KISSES ONLY.
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Honored by the Moon

In this upbeat and empowering film, Native American lesbians and gay men speak of their unique historical and spiritual role. Within the Native American community, homosexuality was traditionally associated with the power to bridge worlds. Interviews with leading activists and personal testimony attest to the positive and painful experiences of being Native and gay. Produced by Smith (Dakota) for the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force to raise issues of homophobia within the Indian community, this ground-breaking documentary is also an important contribution to culturally sensitive discussions of homosexuality.
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Out in South Africa

In 1994, Barbara Hammer was invited to South Africa to present a retrospective of her 77 films and videos at OUT IN SOUTH AFRICA, the first gay and lesbian film festival on the African continent. While in South Africa she taught several groups of people how to use video, and to record each other in interviews about life as a lesbian or gay man living in the townships. OUT IN SOUTH AFRICA is the result of Barbara Hammer’s journey and those interviews; a profoundly moving portrait of lesbian and gay life in a country juggling its spirit of optimism with the legacy of apartheid—both sexual and racial.
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