Feminista: A Journey to the Heart of Feminism in Europe

FEMINISTA is a lively and inspiring feminist road movie that explores the largely unrecognized yet hugely vibrant pan European feminist movement. Filmmaker Myriam Fougère joined an international group of young feminists who were traveling across twenty countries – from Turkey to Portugal, by the way of the Balkans, to Italy, Spain and Portugal – to make connections and unite forces with other women. She witnessed these determined activists participating in political gatherings, supporting homegrown local feminist struggles, exchanging strategies, and inventing new ways to resist and fight for change. Revealing how feminism is transmitted from one generation to another, FEMINISTA provides a rare glimpse into a widespread feminist groundswell movement, possibly one of the largest and unrecognized mass political movements that is very much alive and well throughout Europe today.
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93Queen

93QUEEN chronicles the creation of the first all-female Hasidic ambulance corps in New York City.
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Lives: Visible/Leftovers

Lesbians in a box…two thousand private snapshots hidden away for over fifty years reveal the rich history of Chicago’s working class butch/fem life in the pre-Stonewall era.
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Siberian Love

In rural Siberia, romantic expectations are traditional and practical. The man is the head of the household. The woman takes care of the housekeeping and the children. But filmmaker Olga Delane doesn’t agree. While she was born in this small Siberian village, as a teenager she migrated to Berlin with her family, and 20 years of living in Germany has changed her expectations. SIBERIAN LOVE follows Delane home to her community of birth, where she interviews family and neighbors about their lives and relationships. Amusing and moving, this elegant film paints a picture of a world completely outside of technology, a hard-farming community where life is hard and marriage is sometimes unhappy—but where there are also unexpected paths to joy and family togetherness. Through clashing ideals of modern and traditional womanhood, SIBERIAN LOVE is a fascinating study of a country little known in the US and of a rural community that raises questions about domesticity, gender expectations, domestic abuse, childcare, and romance. Excellent for anthropology, women's studies, sociology, Russian and Eastern European Studies.
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Inside the Chinese Closet

The complexities of gay life in modern China collide at the event where Andy and Cherry first meet—a “fake marriage fair” in Shanghai, where a new, cosmopolitan generation of gay men and lesbian women seek to make a deal with a spouse of the opposite sex. Homosexuality has only recently become legal in China, but morally and practically, life is still difficult. People in Andy and Cherry’s generation, the result of the “one child” policy, are under an unbearable pressure to meet the demands of their parents and grandparents. To these elders, who carry the trauma of the great famine and the limits of the Cultural Revolution, their gay children’s search for love and happiness in the city is unintelligible. INSIDE THE CHINESE CLOSET is a humorous and compassionate portrait of modern gay life, the eternally difficult relationship between parents and children, and the social, cultural, and moral beliefs in flux in China today.
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The Revival: Women and the Word

THE REVIVAL: WOMEN AND THE WORD chronicles the US tour of a group of Black lesbian poets and musicians, who become present-day stewards of a historical movement to build community among queer women of color. Their journey to strengthen their community is enriched by insightful interviews with leading Black feminist thinkers and historians, including Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Nikki Finney, and Alexis Deveaux. As the group tours the country, the film reveals their aspirations and triumphs, as well as the unique identity challenges they face encompassing gender, race, and sexuality. This is a rarely seen look into a special sisterhood - one where marginalized voices are both heard and respected.
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Men: A Love Story

After spending nearly a decade as a journalist documenting young women sold as slaves into the sex trade, award winning filmmaker Mimi Chakarova (THE PRICE OF SEX) sets out on a journey across the United States to explore how men feel about women and love. Piecing together a rich tapestry of vignettes, woven from stories shared by men of different races, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds, Chakarova weaves a stunningly honest and unapologetic portrayal of masculinity in America. With a diverse set of subjects from tiny blues bars of the Deep South to hedge funds of Manhattan and from ranchers in New Mexico to farmers in the Midwest, MEN: A LOVE STORY is a poignant and at times unforgettable dark comedy that reveals a deeper multilayered understanding of maleness, sexuality and gender performance in America today.
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Deep Run

Executive produced by Susan Sarandon, DEEP RUN is a powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex-partner, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans-man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily. This deeply personal documentary reveals rebirth and courage within America’s deeply conservative Bible Belt as Cole struggles to find a church that will affirm his identity and the couple's relationship. With a small group of supportive friends, relatives, and his girlfriend, Ashley, Cole's search for love and belonging leads him to a radical revision of what faith and church can be. An intimate study of young outsiders in an insular Christian community, DEEP RUN explores the intersection of modern identity and faith in the American South. Essential viewing for LGBTQIA Audiences, Queer and Gender studies classes.
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The Same Difference

THE SAME DIFFERENCE is a compelling documentary about lesbians who discriminate against other lesbians based on gender roles. Director Nneka Onuorah takes an in-depth look at the internalized hetero-normative gender roles that have become all too familiar within the African American lesbian and bisexual community. Onuorah shows how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression and masculine privilege of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members. Self-identified studs—and the women who love them—discuss hypocrisy in terms of gender roles, performative expectations, and the silent disciplining that occurs between community members. This film features many queer celebrities, including actress Felicia “Snoop” Pearson from the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Wire, and Lea DeLaria from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, living daily with opinions about how identity should be portrayed. Onuorah's engaging documentary shines a light on the relationships and experiences within the queer black female community, intersecting race, gender and sexuality. Required viewing for Women’s, Gender and Queer Studies.
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Voices of Muslim Women from the US South

When one thinks of the American Deep South, the image of veiled Muslim students strolling the University of Alabama campus is the last thing that comes to mind. VOICES OF MUSLIM WOMEN FROM THE US SOUTH is a documentary that explores the Muslim culture through the lens of five University of Alabama Muslim students. The film tackles how Muslim women carve a space for self-expression in the Deep South and how they negotiate their identities in a predominantly Christian society that often has unflattering views about Islam and Muslims. Through interviews with students and faculty at Alabama, this film examines representations and issues of agency by asking: How do Muslim female students carve a space in a culture that thinks of Muslims as terrorists and Muslim women as backward?
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Love Between the Covers

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS was selected as the #1 choice of all 2015 videos by the American Library Association's Booklist Review. Romance fiction outsells all other genres of writing, from crime to science fiction, combined. So why is the genre so often dismissed as frivolous "scribble"? Could it be that it's because the overwhelming majority of writers and readers are women? This funny and inspiring look into a billion dollar industry turns up trailblazers who push the discussion on gender, race, sexuality and diversity at the front lines of the biggest power shift in publishing. In LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS Emmy Award® Winning director Laurie Kahn (TUPPERWARE!, A MIDWIFE'S TALE) turns her insightful eye towards another American pop culture phenomenon: the romance industry. Creating online empires and inventing new markets are authors like Beverly Jenkins, a pioneer of African American romance, Len Barot (aka Radclyffe, L.L. Raand), a surgeon and lesbian-romance legend who started her own publishing house, and the incomparable Nora Roberts. This documentary offers fascinating insights into the history and popularity of this female-centric literary world.

Book LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS filmmaker Laurie Kahn to speak at your university
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Winning Girl

From award-winning Hawaiian filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford (PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY) comes WINNING GIRL, an inspirational film that follows the four-year journey of Teshya Alo, a part-Polynesian, teenage judo and wrestling phenomenon from Hawai‘i. Teshya is only 16 years old and 125 pounds, but on the judo and wrestling mats, she dominates women twice her age and pounds heavier! Now Alo has her sights set on taking the Olympic gold at both the judo and wrestling world championships - and in doing so would be the first to accomplish that feat. WINNING GIRL tells the dynamic story of an elite athlete on her ascent, a girl facing the challenges of puberty and growing up with an entire family dedicated to a single dream. A great companion piece to any discussion on Title IX and gender.
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Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman. Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple. Her early life unfolded in the midst of violent racism and poverty during some of the most turbulent years of profound social and political changes in North American history during the Civil Rights Movement. Mixing powerful archival footage with moving testimonials from friends and colleagues such as Howard Zinn, Angela Y. Davis, Gloria Steinem, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg and Danny Glover, ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, intellectual, self-confessed renegade and human rights activist.
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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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Lesbiana: A Parallel Revolution

A parallel, lesbian-feminist revolution was born out of the women’s and civil rights movements of the 60’s and 70’s. Filmmaker Myriam Fougère’s takes us on a road trip through the United States and Canada as she revisits the activists of the time who sparked this revolution to define their own culture. As active second-wave feminists, many lesbian women began to recognize that their sexual identity was not acknowledged or embraced by the traditional women’s movement. These artists, musicians, philosophers, and writers sought to establish communities centered exclusively on women where patriarchy simply did not exist. Women-only communities began to flourish in North America and around the world, resulting in a rich and vibrant culture that inspired important lesbian art, literature, and music. Told through photographs, archival footage, and contemporary interviews, Fougère’s film serves not only as a testament to the politics of the era, but also as a living yearbook and virtual reunion of these remarkable women, who laid the groundwork for generations to come.
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Slaying the Dragon and Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded

SLAYING THE DRAGON is a comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women since the silent era. From the racist use of white actors to portray Asians in early Hollywood films, through the success of Anna May Wong’s sinister dragon lady, to Suzie Wong and the ’50s geisha girls, to the Asian-American anchorwoman of today, this fascinating film shows how stereotypes of exoticism and docility have affected the perception of Asian-American women. Produced by Asian Women United, this invaluable resource has been widely used by universities and libraries. SLAYING THE DRAGON: RELOADED is a 30-minute sequel to SLAYING THE DRAGON. RELOADED looks at the past 25 years of representation of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media — from blockbuster films and network television to Asian American cinema and YouTube — to explore what’s changed, what’s been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future.
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It Was Rape

U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker. IT WAS RAPE gives human faces and voices to statistics, breaking through the silence, denial and victim blaming that allow an epidemic to thrive. Eight women of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities relate personal stories of surviving sexual assault in their younger years, as well as their struggles toward healing, empowerment, and finally speaking out. By award-winning feminist author, filmmaker and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, this strikingly relevant documentary will engage all audiences in needed dialogue about the prevalence of sexual assaults in the U.S., at our schools and colleges, and the elements promoting rape culture on and off campus. IT WAS RAPE is a crucial resource for colleges and communities to meaningfully address Title IX issues around sexual violence.
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Miss America

Tracking the country’s oldest beauty contest—from its inception in 1921 as a local seaside pageant to its heyday as one of the country’s most popular events—MISS AMERICA paints a vivid picture of an institution that has come to reveal much about a changing nation. The pageant is about commercialism and sexual politics, about big business and small towns. But beyond the symbolism lies a human story—at once moving, inspiring, infuriating, funny, and poignant. Combining rare archival footage, with a host of intimate interviews with distinguished commentators including Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, former contestants and behind–the–scenes footage and photographs, the film reveals why some women took part in the fledgling event and why others briefly rejected it - how the pageant became a battle ground and a barometer for the changing position of women in society.
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Playing With Fire: Women Actors Of Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, women deciding to be actors make a dangerous choice. Banned under Taliban rule (1994-2001), Afghan theater is experiencing a comeback with many women at the forefront. But with powerful forces of Islamic fundamentalism, a resurgent Taliban, and patriarchal traditions in play, actresses often face the harshest criticism and are even sometimes viewed as prostitutes. Socially ostracized, and pressured to abandon their careers, they receive beatings and death threats for them and their family. Some are forced to flee the country and some are even killed. PLAYING WITH FIRE introduces us to six courageous Afghan women who share their passions for acting, dreams, and difficult realities. They include Sajida, a student targeted by extremists; Monirah, besieged co-founder of an innovative women’s theater troupe; Tahera, forced into exile because of award-winning work at a theater festival; Roya, whose TV career brings her constant harassment; and Leena and Breshna, unprotected by their stage and motion picture fame. Filmmaker Anneta Papathanassiou exposes pervasive erosions of Afghan women’s rights. Her timely, eye-opening documentary perfectly captures art’s transformative power and the dangers these courageous women face to do the work they love.
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Derby Crazy Love

The latest documentary from Toronto filmmakers Maya Gallus and Justine Pimlott takes viewers inside the adrenaline-fueled phenomenon of women’s roller derby. With over 1,400 leagues worldwide, it is now the fastest growing women’s sport. DERBY CRAZY LOVE accompanies Montreal’s top team, New Skids on the Block, on its exhilarating journey to regional championships, where they face off in a pitched battle against U.K. powerhouse, London Rollergirls, and reigning world champions, New York’s Gotham Girls. New Skids players and their British and U.S. rivals share stories of being powerful women in traditional sports, along with insights about derby’s recent rebirth, after decades of decline, as a vibrant, original expression of third wave feminism and Amazon-like physicality rooted in punk’s colorful DIY counterculture. Deftly tackling issues of masculinity, femininity, aggression, body image, queer identity and gender norms, this fast-paced yet reflective film captures the spirit of community, inclusiveness, and sisterhood at roller derby’s core today.
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Kismet

Wildly popular at home, Turkish soap operas have taken the world by storm with more than 300 million viewers in 80 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and Asia. With unprecedented access, KISMET delves into this phenomenon, weaving together excerpts from the major shows including interviews with their talent and the writers, producers and directors behind the scenes—primarily made up of women—and portraits of the everyday viewers in Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, and Greece. Exploring how the serials captivate, inspire and empower women, the film reveals how the soaps impact and break down negative stereotypes and traditional taboos. The soaps openly discuss rape, sexual and domestic violence, child and arranged marriages, and honor killings while also sparking change in gender relationships, activism against sexual abuse, and a wave of divorce across the Middle East. Invaluable for studies in media and popular culture, KISMET discloses how profoundly Turkish soaps penetrate viewers’ social and religious realities while empowering and helping women to transform their lives and strengthen the debate about women’s rights across the region.
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Light Fly, Fly High

Thulasi, a young Indian woman in her twenties, is literally willing to box her way out of poverty and into a better life. A Dalit or “untouchable” born outside of caste, she rejected her place on society’s lowest rung at an early age and was forced to leave her parents’ home when only 14. Ten years later, despite her impressive record in the ring, ranking 3rd in India’s Light Fly category, Thulasi remains stuck at the bottom, deprived of opportunities she rightly deserves. Despite an uphill battle against sexual harassment, poverty and the pressure to marry, Thulasi refuses to compromise herself and her goals and takes her destiny into her own hands. Filmed during three eventful years, LIGHT FLY, FLY HIGH is a beautifully shot, gripping and inspirational story of a courageous young woman who refuses to be anyone’s victim and ends up a hero of her own making against all odds.
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Sisters in Arms

Canada is one of a handful of countries that permit women to fight in ground combat. In January 2013, the Pentagon lifted its ban on women in combat roles. In 2016, for the first time in American history, women will be permitted to train as combat soldiers. Sisters In Arms reveals the untold stories of three remarkable women in the most difficult and dangerous military professions: facing combat on the frontlines in Afghanistan. Corporal Katie Hodges is a determined infantry soldier; Corporal Tamar Freeman, a trained medical professional; and Master Corporal Kimberley Ashton, a combat engineer and mother who has left behind three young daughters. Using video diaries filmed by the soldiers in Afghanistan and intimate personal interviews, Sisters in Arms tells their stories of loss and inspiration from a uniquely female perspective, challenging our perceptions of what constitutes a soldier.
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The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars

THE GREY AREA is an intimate look at women’s issues in the criminal justice system and the unique experience of studying feminism behind bars. Through a series of captivating class discussions, headed by students from Grinnell College, a small group of female inmates at a maximum women’s security prison in Mitchellville, Iowa, share their diverse experiences with motherhood, drug addiction, sexual abuse, murder, and life in prison. The women, along with their teachers, explore the “grey area” that is often invisible within the prison walls and delve into issues of race, class, sexuality and gender. The number of women in prison has grown by over 800% in the past three decades, two thirds are mothers and are incarcerated for non-violent offenses and more than 80% have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault at some point in their lives. THE GREY AREA is an important look into the complex factors behind these statistics and how feminism sheds light and brings hope to those incarcerated. This is an excellent film to prompt discussion in women’s studies, courses that include prison reform or violence against women, American studies and sociology.
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Jasad & The Queen of Contradictions

Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded Jasad (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine. Dedicated to the body’s art, science and literature, Jasad is one of the first of its kind in the Arab world and has caused a big debate in the Arabic region not only for its explicit images, erotic articles and essays on sex in Arabic but also for the fact that an Arab woman is behind it all. Despite Beirut’s external appearance of freedom portrayed through its infamous nightlife and women’s stylish and open revealing fashion sense, this is all still taboo. JASAD & THE QUEEN OF CONTRADICTIONS, by Lebanese director Amanda Homsi-Ottosson, tackles the subject of sexuality in Lebanon, giving insight on the rare use of the Arabic language to discuss sex and erotica. Different views regarding the magazine and sexuality are also given by the head of a women’s rights organization, a sexual health educator and a doctor who performs hymen reconstruction surgeries. Despite the debates, the threats and the lack of funds, one passionate woman shows no sign of slowing down her small steps towards a “sexual revolution” in the Arab world.
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Sir: Just a Normal Guy

Screened to acclaim at Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals worldwide and LBGT events across the nation, this candid and courageous portrait of more than 15-months in the female-to-male (FTM) transition of Jay Snider explores both the emotional and physical changes of this profound experience--beginning prior to hormones and concluding after top surgery. Footage shot before and after the surgery captures dramatic physical transitions, while intimate interviews with Jay, his ex-husband, his best friend and his lesbian-identified partner aptly capture the emotional and psychological shifts that occur during the process. With support from those closest to him, Jay’s experience is remarkably positive, though not without conflict. During the course of the film, he renews long-distant ties with his brother, but also faces permanent estrangement from his parents. SIR is an in-depth and humanizing exploration of the challenges, discrimination, and alienation faced by transsexuals. Jay’s conflicted feelings around queer identification are portrayed along with his significant other’s continued identification as lesbian. A much-needed look at FTM transition, the film demonstrates both the fluidity of sexual identification and that love and human resilience can triumph over deep-rooted differences.
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Africa is a Woman's Name

AFRICA IS A WOMAN’S NAME provides an opportunity for three of Africa’s leading filmmakers to tell their own country’s stories through the lives of the powerful women working to create change. Veteran filmmakers Wanjiru Kinyanjui, from Zimbabwe, and Bridget Pickering, from South Africa, join Kenyan Ingrid Sinclair, director of the critically acclaimed feature film FLAME, to profile three diverse women who eloquently demonstrate the power of women. Amai Rose, a Zimbabwean housewife and businesswoman, Phuti Ragophala, a dedicated school principal in one of South Africa’s poorest communities, and Njoki Ndung’u, a human rights attorney and member of Kenya’s parliament, tell their individual stories, reflecting upon their own achievements and failures as well as needed initiatives for women and children in their respective societies. Their richly textured self-portraits reveal the gender revolution under way among sub-Saharan women of different backgrounds and origins who are determined to transform their daily realities and the conditions of their lives.
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Dish

Why do women bring your food at local diners, while in high-end establishments waiters are almost always men? DISH, by Maya Gallus, whose acclaimed GIRL INSIDE (2007) won Canada’s Gemini Award for documentary directing, answers this question in a delicious, well-crafted deconstruction of waitressing and our collective fascination with an enduring popular icon. Digging beyond the obvious, Gallus, who waited tables in her teens, explores diverse dynamics between food servers and customers, as well as cultural biases and attitudes they convey. Her feminist analysis climbs the socio-economic ladder—from the bustling world of lower-end eateries, where women prevail as wait staff, to the more genteel male-dominated sphere of haute cuisine. Astute, amusing observations from women on the job in Ontario’s truck stop diners, Montreal’s topless"sexy restos," a Parisian super-luxe restaurant, and Tokyo’s fantasy "maid cafés", as well as male customers’ telling comments, disclose how gender, social standing, earning opportunities, and working conditions intersect in the food service industry.
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Orchids: My Intersex Adventure

Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up – but she didn’t know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe’s voyage of self-discovery as an intersex person, a group of conditions formerly termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of others affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome. With help from sister Bonnie (born with the same condition) and support from partner James, Hart drives across Australia, interviewing individuals whose struggles and victories mirror and differ from her own. Some advocate systemic change ending shame and controversial genital surgeries, while others debate coming out or staying closeted with a stigmatized secret. Questioning rigidly defined constructs of gender, sexuality, and normality, often with lively good humor, ORCHIDS is the first film to look at intersex from a positive perspective. Its engaging portrait of survival, courage and reconciliation will speak to a variety of audiences and spark lively discussion about what it means to be perceived as "different."
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Ella es el Matador (She is the Matador)

For Spaniards—and for the world—nothing has expressed their country’s traditionally rigid gender roles more powerfully than the image of the male matador. So sacred was the bullfighter’s masculinity to Spanish identity that a 1908 law barred women from the sport. Visually stunning and beautifully crafted, ELLA ES EL MATADOR (She is the Matador) reveals the surprising history of the women who made such a law necessary, and offers fascinating profiles of two female matadors currently in the arena, the acclaimed Maripaz Vega and neophyte Eva Florencia. These women are gender pioneers by necessity, confronting both bull and social code. But what emerges through this mesmerizing film is their truest motivation—a sheer passion for bullfighting, in the pursuit of a dream.
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Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?

A multi-layered work featuring animation, archival footage and interviews with the likes of William Burroughs, Carolee Schneemann and Richard Hell, Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker by Austrian artist Barbara Caspar and co-produced by Annette Pisacane (Nico Icon) and Markus Fischer, is a thoughtful and creative film biography/essay on the late outlaw writer and punk icon, whose formally inventive novels, published from the ’70s through the mid-’90s, challenged assumptions about gender roles, sexuality, and the literary canon. A beguiling and intensely contradictory figure, Acker is best known for books which creatively appropriated texts from Great White Male writers, retelling them in an emotionally raw, sexually blunt, and politically questioning female voice. With her conceptual art videos in the ’70s, her close-cropped dyed blond hair, her tattoos, and her piercings, Acker was a performance artist, proto riot grrl, and living link to the transgressive authors of the ’50s and ’60s US and French experimental fiction scenes. Caspar has made a film that captures the essence of both Acker the writer and Acker the person while celebrating the avant-garde legacy of an artist who forever expanded the limits of self-expression. — Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
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Shooting Women

Featuring more than 50 camerawomen from around the world, SHOOTING WOMEN, by pioneering filmmaker and cinema studies professor Alexis Krasilovsky, celebrates the amazing talent and unflinching spirit of image-making women from the sets of Hollywood and Bollywood to the war zones of Afghanistan.
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The Feminist Initiative

The Feminist Initiative reveals the passion, pitfalls and promise of a diverse group of women working to establish the world’s first feminist political party in Sweden in the spring of 2005. Even in one of the most gender-equal societies in the world, the advancement of women’s agenda within the patriarchal establishment requires a revolution. Beginning from the innovative and inclusive decision to elect three party leaders rather than one, the film charts every trail-blazing step (and misstep) of the Feminist Initiative (F!) from their energetic start to the climactic moments of their inspiring, celebrity-supported rally. In the face of internal discord, public backlash, and a worrisome lack of funds, the Feminist Initiative forges a new path towards parliament, raising critical questions along the way about what women really want from their government and about gender differences in leadership. This is an invaluable story about the struggle to have women’s voices heard in a patriarchal, modern society, and an amazing behind-the-scenes film about what women do with power, and what power can do to women.
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Searching 4 Sandeep

Single, frustrated, and lonely in the middle of Sydney’s thriving gay community, director Poppy Stockell decides to “research” a light-hearted look at the lesbian Internet-dating scene. To her surprise and delight, she forges a deep online connection with an English woman, Sandeep Virdi. When their innocent flirtation turns into true attachment, Poppy sends Sandeep a camcorder and viewers watch as Poppy and Sandeep’s virtual relationship blooms into a poignant love complicated by the reality that Sandeep is Sikh, lives at home with her conservative family, and has kept her sexuality a secret. Humorous and thoughtful, Searching 4 Sandeep explores the collision of love and ethnic, religious, and sexual identity. Filmmaker Stockell raises serious questions about a new kind of global romance at odds with the cultural, social, and geographical distances between people. Will Sandeep’s family overcome their homophobia? Will the star-crossed lovers surmount the obstacles separating them? Through raw, incredibly frank footage, Searching 4 Sandeep follows the couple’s tumultuous relationship across two years, and three continents, in a touching examination of sexuality, religion, globalization, and culture seen through the lens of this uniquely modern love story.
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We Want Roses Too (Vogliamo Anche Le Rose)

This stunning visual masterpiece is an exuberant testament to the resolve of women of the ’60s and ’70s sexual revolution and feminist movement in Italy. Acclaimed director Alina Marazzi takes viewers on a gorgeous storytelling journey through archival footage, advertisements, and colorful images juxtaposed with the true-life struggles and first person narrations of three diverse Italian women: Anita, who is struggling with an oppressive father and the strict rules of her Catholic faith; Teresa, who must resort to a heartbreaking illicit abortion; and Valentina, a militant feminist caught between love and her commitment to the movement. The feminist slogan “We want bread, but we want roses too,” was first chanted by thousands of striking female textile workers in Massachusetts in 1912. Marazzi’s vibrant film is a celebration of women who fought for a world where both the essentials of bread and the poetry of roses have a place. The artistic and educational, personal and political converge beautifully in this fascinating film that transcends time and culture to reveal many of the universal struggles and inspirations of women’s equality.
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Girl Inside

Following 26-year-old Madison during a crucial three years of her transition from male to female, GIRL INSIDE is a beautiful film that tracks her emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey of self-discovery that is as important as – if not more than – the physical journey of hormones and surgery. Sharing the spotlight is Vivien, Madison’s glamorous 80-year-old grandmother, who has taken on the job of advising her on all things feminine. While Vivien's attempts to school Madison in old-fashioned codes of fashion and behavior are often hilarious, the juxtaposition of two vastly different experiences of womanhood, from very different generations, raises profound issues about the nature of gender, femininity and sexuality. Sometimes funny, sometimes painful, this heartwarming coming of age story is both an intimate portrait and a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a woman. Recommended for courses in transgender and queer studies, gender studies, women’s studies and sociology.
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They Call Me Muslim

In popular Western imagination, a Muslim woman in a veil – or hijab – is a symbol of Islamic oppression. But what does it mean for women’s freedom when a democratic country forbids the wearing of the veil? In this provocative documentary, filmmaker Diana Ferrero portrays the struggle of two women – one in France and one in Iran – to express themselves freely. In 2004, the French government instituted an "anti-veil law," forbidding Muslim girls from wearing the hijab to school. Samah, a teenager in Paris who, at 14 decided to wear the veil, explains how the law attacks her sense of identity – and does not make her feel liberated. “Who says that freedom is not wearing anything on your head?” she asks. Half a world away in Tehran, “K,” forced to wear the hijab by the Islamic regime, defiantly wears it her own way – and her translucent scarf loosely draped over her hair puts her at risk of arrest. When Ferrero films her at home, K, comfortable in a tank top and shorts, says, “They call me Muslim... But do you see me as a Muslim? What do you have in your mind for a Muslim person?” Beautifully shot and finely crafted, THEY CALL ME MUSLIM highlights how women still must struggle for the right to control their own bodies – not only under theocratic regimes, but also in secular, democratic countries where increasing discrimination against Muslims and sexism intersect.
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Black and White

BLACK AND WHITE shines a sensitive light on a subject that is too often either shunned or sensationalized: the experiences of intersex people (sometimes called hermaphrodites). This beautiful and stylish film artfully explores the potent creative collaboration between Mani Bruce Mitchell and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan. Portrayed through this lens, Mitchell’s story introduces viewers to notions of fluid gender identity, challenging the rigid categories of “male” and “female.” At birth Mitchell was assigned the gender “male” but when investigative surgery subsequently revealed that “he” had ovaries, “Bruce” was renamed “Ruth” and reassigned the gender “female.” BLACK AND WHITE picks up on Mitchell’s story in 2005, weaving together her unflinching yet unexpectedly humorous insights, along with Swan’s descriptions of their creative collaboration on a book about gender identity. Documenting the way Mitchell boldly expresses her own intersex identity through the medium of art, the film challenges the viewer to see Mitchell for who s/he is. Combining intimate, present-day interviews with rich archival slides, photographs and film footage, as well as playful fragments of Super-8 stop-motion animation, BLACK AND WHITE is a stunning tribute to Mitchell’s courage and fierce commitment to change.
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Boy I Am

An important exploration of issues rarely touched upon by most films portraying female-to-male (FTM) transgender experiences, this feature-length documentary sets itself apart from other recent films on this topic. Tackling the resistance of some women in feminist and lesbian communities who view FTM transitioning as at best a "trend" or at worst an anti-feminist act that taps into male privilege, this groundbreaking film opens up a dialog between the lesbian, feminist, and transgender communities while also promoting understanding of transgender issues for general audiences. In the course of the film, three young transitioning FTMs in New York City- Nicco, Norie and Keegan- go through major junctures in their transitions, discussing everything from their relationships with their bodies, feminism, and the intersection of race and class with their transgender identity. Their stories are interspersed with interviews with lesbians, activists and theorists who engage with the often-contentious questions and issues that are raised within the queer and feminist communities but are rarely discussed openly. Situating these struggles and stories as inextricably linked to queer and feminist struggles, BOY I AM presents an empowering chronicle of queer resistance that challenges all viewers to rethink their concepts of activism and identity.
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I Was a Teenage Feminist

Why is it that some young, independent, progressive women in today's society feel uncomfortable identifying with the F-word? Join filmmaker Therese Shechter as she takes a funny, moving and very personal journey into the heart of feminism. Armed with a video camera and an irreverent sense of humor, Shechter talks with feminist superstars, rowdy frat boys, liberated Cosmo girls and Radical Cheerleaders, all in her quest to find out whether feminism can still be a source of personal and political power. In this enlightening documentary, screened worldwide, Shechter hunts down the answers to questions many women are grappling with about their roles and identities in today’s society: Is feminism dead, hibernating, or trapped below the radar? Have the goals of the ‘70s been accomplished or have feminism’s opponents appropriated and denigrated the movement beyond all recognition? If so, how did this happen? Do you have to be political to be a feminist? And do you even have to be female? With home movies clips of Shechter as a budding feminist, archival materials from old health classes, and music by Ani DiFranco, Lavababy, Gina Young, Moxie Starpark and the legendary Helen Reddy, I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST redefines the F-Word for a new generation.
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Leila Khaled: Hijacker

In 1969 Palestinian Leila Khaled made history by becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane. As a Palestinian child growing up in Sweden, filmmaker Lina Makboul admired Khaled for her bold actions; as an adult, she began asking complex questions about the legacy created by her childhood hero. This fascinating documentary is at once a portrait of Khaled, an exploration of the filmmaker’s own understanding of her Palestinian identity, and a complicated examination of the nebulous dichotomy between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter." When Makboul tracks Khaled down, she finds Khaled living an ordinary life in Jordan, still firm in her belief that her actions were necessary and fully justified. The film weaves together scenes with Khaled, archival footage, and interviews with the people who were on the planes Khaled hijacked. Makboul searches for a way to reconcile her understanding of the Palestinian national narrative - which now includes Khaled’s actions - with the negative image she encounters from the rest of the world of Palestinians as bloodthirsty terrorists. At the same time, she comes to know Khaled for the very real person that she is as they talk, travel together, and share meals. The result is a multi-dimensional film unlike any other in its skillful handling of the complexities that arise when liberation movements incorporate violence as a tactic.
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I Had an Abortion

Underneath the din of politicians posturing about "life" and "choice" and beyond the shouted slogans about murder and rights, there are real stories of real women who have had abortions. Each year in the US, 1.3 million abortions occur, but the topic is still so stigmatized it’s never discussed in polite company. Powerful, poignant, and fiercely honest, I HAD AN ABORTION tackles this taboo, featuring 10 women – including famed feminist Gloria Steinem – who candidly describe experiences spanning seven decades, from the years before Roe v. Wade to the present day. Filmmakers Jennifer Baumgardner (author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future) and Gillian Aldrich insightfully document how changing societal pressures have affected women’s choices and experiences. Cutting across age, race, class and religion, the film unfolds personal narratives with intimate interviews, archival footage, family photos and home movies. Arranged chronologically, the stories begin with Florence Rice, now 86, telling without regret about her abortion in the 1930s. Other women speaking out include Marion Banzhaf, who, inspired by both the Miss America protests and the Stonewall rebellion, fundraised on her campus to pay for her abortion, and Robin Ringleka-Kottke, who found herself pregnant as an 18-year-old pro-life Catholic. With heartfelt stories that are never sentimentalized, I HAD AN ABORTION personalizes what has become a vicious and abstract debate.
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The Gender Chip Project

Essential viewing for students, educators, counselors, policy makers and parents, THE GENDER CHIP PROJECT is being hailed as an important resource for addressing the disparity of representation of women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Although women comprise the majority of undergraduates in America, only 20 percent are earning degrees in engineering and computer science. With statistics like these—and controversies such as the firestorm created when a prominent university president suggested women lack innate abilities in math and science—it’s clear that the road to success in the high-stakes STEM professions is not an easy one for young women. THE GENDER CHIP PROJECT illustrates this challenge as it follows five extraordinary women majoring in the sciences, engineering and math at Ohio State University. Meeting regularly throughout their four years of school, they create a community to share their experiences and struggles as women stepping into traditionally male domains, and find support in dialog with their female professors. Now chaptered for easier use, the DVD shows how these extraordinary students are finding their own way to navigate and succeed in these male-dominated areas of study.
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A Knock Out

Boxing champion Michele Aboro grew up in South London, where life for a girl was never easy, let alone for a mixed-race lesbian girl. Thanks to her tenacious spirit and an uncanny talent for combat sports, she put her difficult past behind her and managed to sign a contract with the biggest boxing promoter in Europe. She won all 21 fights, 18 of them with a knockout - an exceptional achievement in women’s boxing. But despite her spectacular record in the ring, her career came to a sudden halt when her promoter broke her contract under the belief that she was not "promotable." Refusing to vamp up her image and pose naked in magazines, this undefeated world champion was abandoned by an industry more interested in selling sex than sport. A KNOCK OUT interweaves Aboro’s personal story with interviews with boxers whose wild success strikes a painful contrast with Aboro's struggles. Searching for logic behind Aboro’s case, this poignant documentary captures a universal story of fighting for one's identity and offers a probing look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and the increased commercialization of women's sports.
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Girl Wrestler

GIRL WRESTLER follows 13-year-old Tara Neal, a Texas teenager who upsets traditional expectations by insisting that girls and boys should be able to wrestle on the same mat. Zander follows Tara through a crucial period in her wrestling career—the last year that she is allowed to wrestle boys under state guidelines. When Tara enters high school, her opportunities to compete will virtually disappear because so few girls wrestle. Over the course of the season, she deals with family conflicts, pressures to cut weight and fierce policy debates over Title IX. Tara represents a modern kind of girlhood, one that physically embodies feminism by literally placing girls into grappling competition with boys. This eye-opening film shows us how the gender roles we have constructed affect real adolescents as they crash against the boundaries of those norms. Ultimately, Tara’s story is a direct and immediate chronicle of such broader cultural issues as the social construction of masculinity and femininity, athleticism and eating disorders, gender discrimination in organized athletics, and the meaning and value of sport in American culture.
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Tomboys!

Are tomboys tamed once they grow up? This lively and inspiring documentary explodes that archaic myth with the stories of proud tomboys of all ages: African-American teenager Jay Gillespie; Massachusetts firefighter Tracy Driscoll, lesbian artist Nancy Brooks Brody and the inimitable political activist Doris Haddock, aka “Granny D”, whose walk across America in support of campaign finance reform has gained global attention. Interviews with these feisty women are intercut with personal photographs and archival footage to celebrate tomboys of all ages. Exploring the myriad ways gender identity is constructed from a very young age, TOMBOYS makes the connections between rebel girl and spirited women gloriously clear. With additional commentary by girls’ studies pioneer Carol Gilligan, these tales of energy and enterprise are a revelation to us all.
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For a Place Under the Heavens

Acclaimed director Sabiha Sumar, recent winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for her feature Silent Waters, offers an insightful perspective on Pakistan in this finely crafted personal film. Beginning with the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Sumar traces the relationship of Islam to the state in an effort to understand how women are coping with and surviving the increasing religiosity of civil and political life in her country. Raised in a more secular time, she struggles to comprehend how religious schools have expanded at once unthinkable rates and presents chilling footage of a mother encouraging her toddler to be a martyr when he grows up. Mixing political analysis with interviews with activist colleagues, noted Islamic scholars and Pakistani women who have chosen to embrace fundamentalism, Sumar’s provocative questions dramatically capture the tension between liberal and fundamentalist forces that are shaping life in contemporary Pakistan. “Less an ethnography than a philosophical and historical inquiry into the meaning of gender within Islam, it provides a witty, incisive, and important reflection on the "parameters" of gender hierarchy and, indeed, the "truth" of law, both secular and religious. Required viewing to understand some of the specific ideological conundrums within the sexual politics in Pakistan.” Joseph Boles, Northern Arizona University
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Sisters of the Screen

Beti Ellerson’s engaging debut explores the extraordinary contributions of women filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora.
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Maggie Growls

MAGGIE GROWLS is a portrait of the amazing, canny, lusty, charming and unstoppable Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995), who founded the Gray Panthers (the nation’s leading progressive senior advocacy organization) in 1970 after being forced to retire from a job she loved at the age of 65. Her outrage and determination fueled a political chain reaction that forever changed the lives of older Americans, repealing mandatory retirement laws and proving that “old” is not a dirty word. Out of what Ralph Nader called “the most significant retirement in modern American history,” Maggie created one of the most potent social movements of the century – one that was committed to justice, peace and fairness to all, regardless of age. Her defiant “panther growl” and dramatic slogan “Do something outrageous every day” launched nothing less than a contemporary cultural revolution, both in terms of redefining the meaning of age and through her insistence on “young and old together.” "Maggie Growls" looks at the forces that shaped the movement as well as its leader, using Maggie’s life as a lens through which to examine the intertwined issues of social reform and aging in America. This inspiring documentary is an important addition to courses in American Studies, History, Women’s Studies, Gerontology and Sociology. This film is a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
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Through the Skin

In this highly personal experimental autobiography, emerging filmmaker Elliot Montague presents a daring meditation on the experience and trauma of growing up androgynous. Incorporating home movies with vintage health public service announcements, along with his own performance pieces, Elliot jarringly discloses the conflicts between his changing female body with that of his gender and sexual identity. Through a montage of images set against a dissonant soundtrack, he speaks about the misunderstandings and tensions his identity struggle caused his family and the depression that later resulted. In scenes where Elliot binds his breasts, he painfully discloses how his parents sent him to a psychologist who diagnosed him with bi-polar disorder – a diagnosis that later proved to be incorrect. Exploring the complexities and implications of feeling androgynous in a female body, THROUGH THE SKIN presents more than a personal testimony on the transgender experience, it provokes universal questions on the meaning of gender.
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Georgie Girl

Meet Georgina Beyer, the latest “it” girl of New Zealand politics. A one-time sex worker of Maori descent turned public official, Georgina stunned the world in 1999 by becoming the first transgendered person to hold national office. Born George Beyer, this unlikely politician grew up on a small Tarankai farm and later became a small-time celebrity on the cabaret circuit in Auckland. With charisma, humor and charm, Beyer unapologetically recounts her fascinating life story, shares how she overcame adversity and discloses the reasons she decided to run for office in a mostly all white, conservative electorate. Incorporating an unbelievable montage of colorful archival images dug up from Georgina’s days as an exotic dancer, theatre and television performer, this absorbing documentary breaks down stereotypes and promotes greater understanding of transgendered people.
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Between the Lines: Asian American Women's Poetry

BETWEEN THE LINES offers rare interviews with over 15 major Asian-Pacific American women poets. Organized in interwoven sections such as Immigration, Language, Family, Memory, and Spirituality, it is a sophisticated merging of Asian-American history and identity with the questions of performance, voice, and image. This engaging documentary serves as poetry reading, virtual anthology, and, perhaps most importantly, moving testimony about gender, ethnicity, aesthetics, and creative choice. The carefully edited interviews and poems read reflect the filmmaker's desire to show both individual voice and diversity within the Asian-American women’s community. Theoretically as rich as the images and poems provided, there is also an implicit conversation in the film about the possibility and usefulness of an Asian-American women’s aesthetic/poetic. Using carefully selected archival images, historical footage, and brilliant photography as the scrim through which we hear the poets, BETWEEN THE LINES provides important and lively viewing for literature, history, ethnic and women’s studies classes.” - Joseph Boles, Visiting Scholar, Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr
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Filming Desire:

“In this bold documentary Marie Mandy asks the question: how do women directors film love, desire, and, especially, sexuality? In rare interviews with many of the leading women directors working in the world today – including Sally Potter, Agnès Varda, Catherine Breillat, Doris Dörrie, Deepa Mehta, Moufida Tlatli, Safi Faye, and Jane Campion – FILMING DESIRE: A JOURNEY THROUGH WOMEN'S CINEMA directly engages the sexual politics of cinematographic choice. Powerfully illustrated with film clips from their own work, the directors discuss the reality of an explicit women’s point of view, the possibility of a women’s cinematic language, and the desire in their films to ‘fantasize and dream a new image of themselves’. While discussing how their depictions of sexuality and relationships are correctives, they also reflect on the sexual differences in selection of image, shot, and story. The film also provides a virtual anthology of the debates about the body, sexuality, power, and passion one sees in contemporary feminist and film theory: the body in representation and image; as a subject of censorship; as the vehicle of desire and love; as the contested ground of cinematic production; and as part of women’s identity and voice. Explicit, funny and beautifully edited, FILMING DESIRE weaves an intriguing essay that is international in scope and reflective of the great diversity of women filmmakers. Essential viewing for classes in women’s studies, film studies, sexuality, body image, and feminist theory.” – Joseph Boles, Visiting Scholar, Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr
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Writing Desire

"Ursula Biemann’s WRITING DESIRE is a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of women’s bodies from the third world to the first world. Although under-age Philippine 'pen pals' and post-Soviet mail-order brides have been part of the transnational exchange of sex in the post-colonial and post-Cold War marketplace of desire before the digital age, the Internet has accelerated these transactions. Biemann provides her viewers with a thoughtful meditation on the obvious political, economic and gender inequalities of these exchanges by simulating the gaze of the Internet shopper looking for the imagined docile, traditional, pre-feminist, but Web-savvy mate. WRITING DESIRE delights in implicating the viewer in the new voyeurism and sexual consumerism of the Web. However, it never fails to challenge pat assumptions about the impossibility for resistance and the absolute victimization of women who dare to venture out of the third world and onto the Internet to look for that very obscure object of desire promised by the men of the West. This film will promote lively discussion on third world women, the sex industry, mail order brides, racism and feminist backlashes in the West, and on women’s sexuality, desire, and new technologies." --Gina Marchetti, Ithaca College
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Gaea Girls

"This fascinating film follows the physically grueling and mentally exhausting training regimen of several young wanna-be GAEA GIRLS, a group of Japanese women wrestlers. The idea of them may seem like a total oxymoron in a country where women are usually regarded as docile and subservient. However, in training and in the arena, the female wrestlers depicted in this film are just as violent as any member of the World Wrestling Federation, and the blood that’s drawn is very real indeed. One recruit, Takeuchi, endures ritual humiliation not seen on screen since the boot camp sequences of FULL METAL JACKET. In DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, Kim Longinotto cinematically explored the previously unexplored world of the Tehran divorce courts. Working with co-director Jano Williams, Longinotto has been given access to shoot an insider’s verité account of this closely guarded universe." - Chicago Film Festival
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A Boy Named Sue

Julie Wyman's compelling documentary chronicles the transformation of a transsexual named Theo from a woman to a man over the course of six years. The film successfully captures Theo's physiological and psychological changes during the process, as well as their effects on his lesbian lover and community of close friends. Taking full advantage of the unlimited access she received into an extraordinarily personal process, Wyman carefully composes a moving story about gender identity, relationships, and how even things that seem permanent can change. "A BOY NAMED SUE is one of the best videos to date on female-to-male transsexual experience. Wyman spent six years taping Sue's transformation into Theo and then organized a huge archive of material into a moving, informative and smart rendering of what a difference sex reassignment surgeries can make not only to the transsexual himself but also to all those in his immediate circle. Theo is a great subject and Wyman is a talented and imaginative documentarian. If you are looking for a sensitive and sophisticated representation of transsexual experience, look no further." Judith Halberstam, University of California, San Diego
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Hammering It Out

“This spirited documentary spotlights the experience of women in the building trades, specifically those women involved in the Century Freeway Women's Employment Project in Los Angeles. Framed by the story of a community-initiated lawsuit that resulted in hundreds of women getting trained to work on a billion-dollar freeway project, the film evolves into a primer on the feminist issues of equality, identity, and changing gender roles. Powerful testimonials by the women workers tell stories of the often unspoken gendered specifics of discrimination in the building trades: sexual harassment at the jobsite; negotiations about childcare and worker benefits; and the translation of affirmative action policy to the traditional practices of contractors and the historical conventions of the male worksite. The film demonstrates the importance of providing opportunity, embracing equity, and abandoning sexist traditions which deny talented women workers the right to support their families on a par equal with men. It also serves as a cautionary tale that warns that unless laws, policies, and conventions are changed, women workers may be forced out of their chosen professions, like the Rosie the Riveters, by bias and expediency.” Joseph Boles, Northern Arizona University
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Gluttony

Eve discovers the rapture of the apple and offers it to Adam thus committing the original sin. Told in studio-bound cartoon style, this tale serves as an allegory for the plight of the contemporary male/female relationship. Part of the SEVEN WOMEN-SEVEN SINS series which answers the question, " What constitutes a deadly sin in this day and age, and how do you approach such a subject?" Seven of the world’s best-known women directors produce their own version of celluloid sin in this omnibus film.
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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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Killing Time/Fannie's Film

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

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

Onodera's three-part reflection on contemporary sexuality and communication uses a split screen device with a new twist. In the first segment, two women awkwardly discuss their mutual attraction; the second depicts anonymous bathroom sex between two men; the third is an ironic episode of heterosexual phone sex.
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Storme

“It ain’t easy…being green” is the favorite expression of Storme DeLarverie, a woman whose life flouted prescriptions of gender and race. During the 1950’s and 60’s she toured the black theater circuit as a mistress of ceremonies and the sole male impersonator of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, America’s first integrated female impersonation show and forerunner of La Cage aux Folles. The multiracial revue was a favorite act of the Black theater circuit and attracted mixed mainstream audiences from the 1940s through the 1960s, a time marked by the violence of segregation. Parkerson finds Storme in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, now working as a bodyguard at a women’s bar and still singing in her deep silky voice with an “all girl” band. Through archival clips from the past, STORME looks back on the grandeur of the Jewel Box Revue and its celebration of pure entertainment in the face of homophobia and segregation. Storme herself emerges as a remarkable woman, who came up during hard times but always “kept a touch of class.”
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She Even Chewed Tobacco

The Gold Rush. A new frontier. Nineteenth century California offered women the opportunity to pioneer new roles for themselves. Meet Babe Bean, the "trouser puzzle" who escaped the hot glare of tabloid headlines by disguising herself as Jack Garland and serving in the Spanish American War. Or Jeanne Bonnet who scored a record of 22+ arrests for wearing male attire, went to prison for her indiscretions and later organized a group of prostitutes into a shoplifting ring! "A fascinating eye-opening tribute to the stamina and chutzpah of some of yesterday's most notable pariahs!" —The Advocate
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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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A Man, When He Is a Man

Set in Costa Rica and touched with dark humor, this stylistically imaginative documentary illuminates the social climate and cultural traditions which nurture machismo and allow the domination of women to flourish in Latin America. "An amazing work that successfully reveals the genuinely funny elements of male posturing and its potentially serious consequences. It will be appreciated by general audiences as well as teachers interested in stimulating discussion on sex roles." -Malcolm Arth, Margaret Mead Film Festival
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Rate It X

What do men really think of women? This provocative, highly acclaimed documentary provides an unflinching look at sexism in America. A series of disturbing though sometimes amusing portraits uncover obvious culprits such as advertising firms and porn shops as well as often overlooked pockets of sexist imagery which promote gender stereotyping and reinforce negative conceptions of women and sexuality. With great humor and compassion, the film reveals men's deeply imbedded attitudes, showing how sexism becomes rationalized through commerce, religion and social values. Hotly controversial upon its release, RATE IT X is a challenging, invaluable film that illuminates crucial issues of censorship, advertising, pornography and violence against women. Produced by Lynn Campbell, Claudette Charbonneau, Paula De Koenigsberg and Lucy Winer.
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A Spy in the House that Ruth Built

Vanalyne Green appropriates the all-male arena of professional baseball to create a visual essay about family, loss, and sexuality. Confronted with such a strange wonderland, devoid of women, Green is compelled to reinterpret baseball's symbolism-its womb-like landscape, cycles, and rituals-to construct an iconography that pays homage to the female. With humor and irony, Green creates a film that is both a personal revelation and a heretical portrait of America's national past-time.
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The Germans and Their Men

"If a woman doesn't have equal rights, is she equally responsible for the crimes of a nation?" Helke Sander's quasi-documentary turns a wry and revealing lens on German masculinity and national identity. This powerful critique offers popular sentiments and startling insights with biting wit and clarity, making provocative connections between feminism, fascism and the legacy of sexism in German history. Produced for ZDF (German television). "Still the best female helmer on the scene in Germany, Helke Sander takes her time between productions to pour as much personal philosophical reflection into her films as possible." -Variety
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Trade Secrets

Perfect as a training film or as an historical look at labor issues in the 1980s, TRADE SECRETS has been purchased by hundreds of colleges, libraries, community and women's groups. “An ironworker, a sprinkler fitter, and an electrician; all women who describe their jobs and the physical and personal obstacles they overcame to get where they are. In the 1970’s, because of jobs with new equal employment laws, women began to enter the construction trades challenging the traditional male world. Regarded with hostility and suspicion, not all women completed their apprenticeships to be fully qualified as journey women. One who did, an ironworker, describes how tired she was each day as work ended because of her refusal to give up. An Asian woman who had been a secretary for ten years, speaks of suing for harassment when she lost a job after refusing to go out with her foreman. A female welder tells of getting burns until she developed skills and the eventual love of her job. Marrying a fellow welder from the shipyards, she relies on him to help out at home in raising their family. A sprinkler fitter describes the problems she had with men on the job until they saw that she could carry her own share of the work. A woman who teaches skills to women entering the trades explains that she teaches self-esteem and confidence building to women more than the skills themselves. The greater financial power of women in the trades, and their new sense of identity as journey women are discussed in this film about some of the changes taking place in the workplace today.” -Landers Film Review
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What You Take for Granted

The tentative friendship of Anna, a feisty truck driver, and Diana, an upper middle-class doctor, provides the core for an unusual, intimate and moving look at women's experiences in jobs traditionally held by men. Based on actual interviews of forty working women, the film intercuts the story of Anna and Diana with fictionalized interviews of four other non-traditionally employed women.
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Stephanie

Following the filmmaker's teenage neighbor through six pivotal years of her life, Stephanie documents her dreams and disappointments through adolescence. Bright and inquisitive, Stephanie becomes disaffected with high school and the narrow options available to her and ultimately fails to graduate. This award-winning film profiles a typical teenager while pointing to broader issues of socialization, sex-role stereotyping and self esteem for young women.
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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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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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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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