Marceline. A Woman. A Century

MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY is a fascinating portrait of the persevering French filmmaker, writer, and Holocaust survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018). Marceline was only 15 when both she and her father, a Polish Jew from Lódź, were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived but her father didn’t, and Marceline had to find radical and unconventional ways to heal after the tragedies of the war. In 1961, she appeared in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s landmark film Chronicle of a Summer, which gave birth to the term cinema verité. Later she married the legendary Dutch documentary director Joris Ivens, traveled with him to Vietnam, and co-directed films such as 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968) and How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976). Filmed as she was nearing 90 years old and living in Paris, MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY spans the broad arc of her life from Holocaust survivor to political activist to combatively critical filmmaker. Looking back on the momentous events she experienced and filmed such as the Algerian and Vietnam Wars and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, MARCELINE is a thought-provoking chronicle of a remarkable witness of the 20th century.
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Too Black to be French

In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in supposedly institutionally colorblind France. Boni-Claverie, a French-Ivorian, who grew up in upper class French society, unpacks how socio-economic privilege doesn’t mean protection from racial discrimination. Boni-Claverie solicits anonymous individuals to speak on their daily experiences with race, class, discrimination and micro-aggressions. TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH also features interviews with acclaimed sociologists and historians including Pap Ndiaye, Eric Fassin, Achille Mbembe, and Patrick Simon to help contextualize racial history in France. Boni-Claverie’s film starts an urgent discussion on French society's inequalities and discrimination.
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People Are the Sky

Director Dai Sil Kim-Gibson (MOTHERLAND CUBA KOREA USA) is the first Korean American filmmaker to be given official permission by the North Korean government to film inside its borders. In PEOPLE ARE THE SKY, Kim-Gibson’s eighth and most personal film, the filmmaker makes a pilgrimage to her place of birth in North Korea for the first time in nearly 70 years, to explore if it is still home. Kim-Gibson seamlessly weaves her own personal story as a native born North Korean, with the fractious history of the North/South division and pinpoints the roots of North Korean’s hatred of the United States, giving Americans a much better understanding of the conflict. A mix of interviews epic images and graceful musings, PEOPLE ARE THE SKY offers some of the best political and social history of the relations between North and South Korea, and also a contemplative exploration of the meaning of home. The result is unprecedented, at times startling, for hers is an up close look of the hurts and desires, beauty and contradiction, pride and aspirations of the long held demonized nation.
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Feminism Inshallah: A History Of Arab Feminism

The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. Featuring previously unreleased archival footage and exclusive multigenerational interviews, FEMINISM INSHALLAH is an indispensable resource for Women’s Studies, Global Feminism, Middle East and Islamic Studies.
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Las Marthas

Unlike any other, the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is part of a lucrative month-long festival honoring George Washington’s birthday. LAS MARTHAS follows two young women as they prepare for this elaborate rite of passage: Laurita, a 13th-generation debutante descended from Laredo’s original Spanish land grantees who questions debutante society’s class system geared toward girls like herself; and Rosario, a high-achieving, Mexican-raised and U.S.-schooled outsider struggling to understand the elite society’s unspoken rules. Tracing the event’s origins back to 1898, the film works to unravel why a town like Laredo – with a population that is 98% Mexican – feels such affinity for America’s Founding Father. Despite history and all odds, the celebration perseveres and flourishes thanks to the Mexican American girls who wear this gilded tradition in the form of elaborate colonial gowns. LAS MARTHAS is a beautifully drawn and sometimes humorous, coming of age portrait of these two young women as they navigate this complex tradition in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration and border relations between the US and Mexico.
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Surviving the Tsunami - My Atomic Aunt

Film director Kyoko Miyake remembered Namie, a fishing village ravaged by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, as her childhood paradise. Revisiting her family’s hometown after 10 years abroad, Miayke’s multilayered documentary examines the disaster’s profound personal, social and environmental impact. While Namie’s younger generations have permanently relocated elsewhere, Miyake’s Aunt Kuniko, like other older residents, has clung to dreams of eventually returning to her home. Over the course of a year, Miyake follows this warm, indomitable businesswoman as she recalls happy family memories and strives to adapt to life outside the contamination zone. In the process, Kuniko starts questioning her unconditional trust in Fukushima’s plant operators and pro-nuclear past in a community that once hoped to house a nuclear power station. A timely reminder of Fukushima’s continuing meltdown, this insightful, often funny film offers fresh perspectives on Japanese national identity and today’s most pressing global concerns around nuclear energy.
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Maestra

In 1961, over 250,000 Cubans joined their country’s National Literacy Campaign and taught more than 707,000 other Cubans to read and write. Almost half of these volunteer teachers were under 18. More than half were women. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, MAESTRA (Spanish for teacher) explores the experiences of nine of the women who, as young girls, helped eradicate Cuban illiteracy within one year. Interweaving recent interviews, archival footage, and campaign photos, this lively documentary includes one of the first Cubans of her generation to call herself a feminist and one of the first openly proud members of Cuba’s LGBTQI community. With wit and spirit, all recall negotiating for autonomy and independence in a culture still bound by patriarchal structures. Eight years in the making, MAESTRA highlights the will and courage that made the monumental endeavor possible and the pivotal role of women’s and youth empowerment in building a new society.
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Under Snow

In the Echigo region of northwestern Japan, where heavy snow blankets entire landscapes and villages for more than half the year, a distinctive way of life has evolved. Time follows a different, slower rhythm, and everyday routines, along with religious rituals, wedding traditions, festivals, foods, songs, and games, are adapted to Echigo’s austere living conditions and natural beauty. Ulrike Ottinger’s latest film leads us into this mythical country, turning her lens on daily and communal life under the snowy mountains. Narrated in English by American literary and media theorist Lawrence A. Rickels, this stunning documentary sequences merge with the tale of students Takeo and Marko, played by Kabuki performers. Their journey through the past and repeated encounters with the present find them wondrously transformed with help from a beautiful vixen fox. Under Snow is clear evidence that Ottinger, whose career spans more than four decades, remains one of world cinema’s most original artists.
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Skydancer

Renowned for their balance and skill, six generations of Mohawk men have been leaving their families behind on the reservation to travel to New York City, to work on some of the biggest construction jobs in the world. Jerry McDonald Thundercloud and his colleague Sky shuttle between the hard drinking Brooklyn lodging houses they call home during the week and their rural reservation, a gruelling drive six hours north, where a family weekend awaits. Their wives are only too familiar with the sacrifices that their jobs have upon family life. While the men are away working, the women often struggle to keep their children away from the illegal temptations of this economically deprived area. Through archival documents and interviews, Academy Award®-nominated director Katja Esson (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) explores the colorful and at times tragic history of the Mohawk skywalkers, bringing us a nuanced portrait of modern Native American life and a visually stunning story of double lives.
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Poetry of Resilience

Academy® Award nominated director Katja Esson’s (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) exquisitely made film explores survival, strength and the power of the human heart, body and soul—as expressed through poetry. She highlights six different poets, who individually survived Hiroshima, the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, the Kurdish Genocide in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Iranian Revolution. By summoning the creative voice of poetry to tell stories of survival and witness, each reclaims humanity and dignity in the wake of some of history’s most dehumanizing circumstances. POETRY OF RESILIENCE gives us an intimate look into the language of the soul and brings us closer to understanding the insanity of war and how art will flourish, in spite of any obstacle.This film is recommended for courses in poetry studies, literature, peace and conflict studies and genocide studies.
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Voices Unveiled: Turkish Women Who Dare

Can Islamic values co-exist with full equality for women? VOICES UNVEILED examines this timely issue through portraits of three women pursuing life paths and careers of their own choosing in present-day Turkey. Each has defied social expectations in a democratic, secular nation where religious fundamentalism has re-emerged as a political force and patriarchal values still prevail. Well-known textile artist Belkis Belpinar, whose work combines science and kilim rug traditions, resisted her father’s wishes that she study engineering. Dancer and psychologist Banu Yucelar braved family opposition to modern dance, widely perceived as a form of prostitution. Women’s rights activist Nur Bakata Mardin helps women in underserved communities, where old beliefs hold sway, form small business cooperatives. As engaging as its subjects, VOICES UNVEILED punctuates its in-depth portraits with insights from other Turks and lively discussions that include intergenerational debates over veiling. The film is a valuable companion to WOMEN OF TURKEY, which offers a different take on gender roles that embrace modern lifestyles and Islamic culture.
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Sweatshop Cinderella: A Portrait of Anzia Yezierska

In the forefront of early twentieth-century American literature about immigrant women’s lives, Anzia Yezierska’s work includes short fiction, novels, and essays, and her output spans 50 years. SWEATSHOP CINDERELLA, by award-winning filmmaker/historian Suzanne Wasserman, vividly depicts this Jewish immigrant writer’s amazing story. Arriving from Poland around 1890, Yezierska’s family settled on the Lower East Side, where she toiled in sweatshops and laundries, studying English at night. Defying her parents, she pursued her education and became a teacher. Twice married and divorced, she also had a daughter. At the urging of philosopher John Dewey, with whom she fell in and out of love, Yezierska devoted herself full-time to writing stories and novels in Yiddish-English dialect that won awards and rave reviews. Soon Hollywood, which turned two of her works into movies, beckoned her to write screenplays. When disenchantment with that world set in, she returned to New York, writing and publishing her best work between 1922 and 1950. Using archival stills and footage, silent film excerpts, letters, newspaper clippings, and interviews, this is a major contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Yezierska and her work.
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Mountains that Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama

Thirteen years, two radical activist all-stars-one conversation. Internationally renowned scholar, professor and writer Angela Davis and 89-year-old grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama spent over a decade conversing intimately about personal histories and influences that shaped them and their overlapping experiences. MOUNTAINS THAT TAKE WING offers the gift of these two remarkable women’s lives, sharing the pair’s recorded exchanges in 1996 and 2008. The film’s unique format honors the scope and depth of their knowledge on topics ranging from Jim Crow laws and Japanese American internment camps, to Civil Rights, anti-war, women’s and gay liberation movements, to today’s campaigns for political prisoners and prison reform. Intercut with compelling period footage, Davis and Kochiyama’s cogent observations, keen analyses, and steadfast resolve to create a more equitable, humane world offer inspiring lessons in empowerment and community building for current and future generations.
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Antonia Pantoja

Antonia Pantoja (1922-2002), visionary Puerto Rican educator, activist, and early proponent of bilingual education, inspired multiple generations of young people and fought for many of the rights that people take for granted today. Unbowed by obstacles she encountered as a black, Puerto Rican woman, she founded ASPIRA to empower Puerto Rican youth, and created other enduring leadership and advocacy organizations in New York and California, across the United States, and in Puerto Rico. Recognized for her achievements in 1996, Dr. Pantoja was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon civilians in the US. In this important documentary, Pantoja’s compelling story is told through never-before-seen home movies, archival footage, and personal passionate testimony from Pantoja herself and some of her countless protégés, as well as her life partner. Highlighting major landmarks in Pantoja’s biography and long, productive career, the film shows her profound commitment to transforming society, her pivotal role in the Puerto Rican community’s fight to combat racism and discrimination, and her pioneering work in securing a bilingual voice in the US. An eloquent tribute to a remarkable woman, the film sheds new light on the Puerto Rican community’s far-reaching triumphs.
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El General

Past and present collide in this extraordinarily well crafted documentary when filmmaker Natalia Almada (ALL WATER HAS A PERFECT MEMORY), winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s US Directing Award for documentary, brings to life audio recordings she inherited from her grandmother. These recordings feature Alicia Calles’ reminiscences about her own father—Natalia’s great-grandfather—General Plutarco Elías Calles, a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924. In his time, Calles was called “El Bolshevique” and “El Jefe Máximo”, or “the foremost chief”. Today, he remains one of Mexico’s most controversial figures, illustrating both the idealism and injustices of the country’s history. Through Alicia’s voice, this visually stunning, stylistically innovative film moves between the conflicting memories of a daughter grappling with her remembrances of her father and his violent public legacy. It draws exceptional strength from meticulously edited audio, haunting photographs, archival newsreels, and old Hollywood films, combined with an original evocative soundtrack, sweeping footage of modern-day Mexico City, and interviews with today’s working poor. EL GENERAL is a poetic and cinematic exploration of historical judgment, and a complex, arresting portrait of a family and country living under the shadows of the past.
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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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Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority

In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the US presidency and was the driving force behind Title IX, the landmark legislation that transformed women’s opportunities in higher education and athletics. Mink was an Asian American woman who fought racism and sexism while redefining US politics. Her tumultuous, often lonely political journey reveals what can be at stake for female politicians that defy expectations, push limits and adhere to their principles. Mink encountered sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. And her liberal views, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism. A compelling portrait of an iconoclastic figure that remains seldom spotlighted in history books, this film illuminates how Mink’s daring to remain “ahead of the majority” in her beliefs enabled groundbreaking changes for the rights of the disenfranchised. A woman of the people as well as a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, Patsy Mink’s intriguing story embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.
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License to Thrive: Title IX at 35

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” In June of 1972, Congress passed a piece of legislation called Title IX of the Education Amendments, to provide educational access and opportunity for women and young girls throughout the United States. Although most closely associated with sports, no other piece of legislation since the 19th Amendment has been more crucial to opening doors and creating leadership opportunities for women in all arenas including education, science, math, finance, entertainment, the arts, business, law, and politics. License to Thrive: Title IX at 35 is a smart and highly-entertaining exploration of the unique history of the Title IX legislation and its critical role over the past 35 years in creating female leaders. From the classroom to the boardroom to the courtroom to the green room to the locker room, women are making their mark via the impact of Title IX.
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Bloodlines

Bettina Goering, grandniece of Hermann Goering, has long tried to bury the dark legacy of her family history. Painter Ruth Rich, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, cannot resolve her deep-rooted anger over the suffering of her parents and the loss of an older brother in the Holocaust. Bettina seeks out Ruth in an attempt to confront her enormous guilt and her fear that the capacity for evil is in her blood. When the women meet, their hidden guilt and rage clash in a series of intimate and extraordinary meetings. Provocative and deeply moving, BLOODLINES by Cynthia Connop follows Ruth and Bettina as they face the past in their quest to heal the future. Their meetings are interspersed with individual interviews, powerful images from Ruth’s paintings and archival photos. This contemporary film brings to light, in a way never before seen, the unwritten cost of war and genocide on future generations of both victims and perpetrators. Given recent events in Darfur, Rwanda and Serbia, this film provides relevant and timely insight into the difficult process of reconciliation and forgiveness, and the long-term consequences of hatred.
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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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Women of Turkey: Between Islam and Secularism

In this thought-provoking documentary, veiled and unveiled women explore relationships between Islam and secularism in present-day Turkey, where millions of women, many of them educated and urban, wear the headscarf or hijab. For her survey, filmmaker Naccache, who was born in Turkey and raised in Lebanon, draws on historical footage and individual visits with Turkish women from across the professional spectrum. Among them are the owner of a gallery devoted to Islamic art; a left-wing journalist whose politics stem from her religious convictions; a young intellectual adhering to a spirituality based on no single religion; and the film critic and columnist for a popular online newspaper. Their wide-ranging interviews, which analyze the background and impact of controversial bans on headscarves in universities and civil service, yield fresh perspectives on Turkish women’s integration of Islamic culture and modern lifestyles, as well as their far-reaching achievements and priorities for the future.
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Chisholm '72 - Unbought and Unbossed

Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land. Following Chisholm from her own announcement of her candidacy through her historic speech in Miami at the Democratic National Convention, the story is a fight for inclusion. Shunned by the political establishment and the media, this longtime champion of marginalized Americans asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at the age of 18. Chisholm's bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, even racist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive. Period footage and music, interviews with supporters, opponents, observers, and Chisholm's own commentary all illuminate her groundbreaking initiative, as well as political and social currents still very much alive today.
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The Phantom of the Operator

This wry and delightful found-footage film reveals a little-known chapter in labor history: the story of female telephone operators’ central place in the development of global communications. With an eye for the quirky and humorous, Caroline Martel assembles a dazzling array of clips – more than one hundred remarkable, rarely seen industrial, advertising and scientific management films produced in North America between 1903 and 1989 by Bell and Western Electric – and transforms them into a dreamlike montage documentary. As the first agents of globalization, this invisible army of women offered a way for companies to feminize and glamorize what was a highly stressful, underpaid and difficult job. Not merely "Voices with a Smile," telephone operators were shooting stars in a universe of infinite progress, test pilots for new management systems, and the face of shrewd public relations campaigns. As the work of operators has been eclipsed by the advent of automated systems, this artful piece of labor history also offers an insightful comment on women’s work, industrialization and communications technology. Refreshing and hilarious, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERATOR provides a wry yet ethereal portrait of human society in the technocratic age.
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Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema

In the days before movies could talk, silent films spoke clearly of sexual politics, and in Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema, historian and writer Kay Sloan has assembled rare and wonderful footage that opens a historic window onto how women’s suffrage was represented in early American cinema. Taking advantage of the powerful new medium, early filmmakers on both sides of the contentious issue of suffrage used film to create powerful propaganda and images about women. Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema contains clips from many films from the era, including: A Lively Affair (1912); A Busy Day (1914), which stars a young Charlie Chaplin in drag portraying a suffragist; and the pro-suffragist film, What 80 Million Women Want (1913), which includes an eloquent speech from president of the Women’s Political Union, Harriet Stanton Blatch. Silent films may have passed into history, and their representations of feminists abandoning babies or stealing bicycles to attend suffragette meetings may now seem outrageous, but the struggle for gender equality and the issues surrounding representations of women in the media remain as fascinating, engaging, and relevant as ever.
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Search for Freedom

SEARCH FOR FREEDOM traces the dramatic social and political history of Afghanistan from the 1920s to the present through the stories of four remarkable women: Princess Shafiqa Saroj, sister of the beloved progressive King Amanullah (1919-1929); Mairman Parveen, the first woman to sing on Afghan radio; Moshina, a war widow and survivor of a Taliban massacre; and Sohaila, an exiled medical student who ran underground schools for RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women) during the Taliban regime. Through their personal stories, a surprising portrait of Afghanistan’s history emerges. Stunning archival footage from the early 20th century captures a time of remarkable progress and freedom for women that belies most Western perceptions. Other historical footage and Jahnagir’s incisive commentary reveal women’s realities and resilience under near constant occupation, first with the Soviet invasion, then under the mujahadeen and more recently under the repressive Taliban. Defying and clarifying the image of Afghan women as mere victims, SEARCH FOR FREEDOM offers a nuanced portrait of women who find choices where none are offered, who continue to find hope in the face of exile and isolation.
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La Cueca Sola

On September 11, 1973, a military coup in Chile brought Augusto Pinochet to power, and over the next 17 years, thousands of women and men were taken from their homes- never to return. Since that time, Chilean women have danced the country’s traditional courtship dance alone, and LA CUECA SOLA has become a symbol of women’s struggle against the dictatorship. After 30 years in exile, critically acclaimed filmmaker Marilu Mallet returns to Santiago to meet with five Chilean women from three generations who suffered under the dictatorship and have emerged as heroes under democracy. Isabel Allende, Monique Hermosilla, Estela Ortiz, Carolina Toha and Moyenei Valdes all lost a father, a husband, or a friend, but have surmounted their grief to bravely speak out, each in their own way- from political action to vocal performance. Intimate interviews reveal the women’s shocking experiences under the dictatorship, while inspiring footage of their current work highlights their passion to rebuild. Illustrating throughout with a wealth of archival images, Mallet paints a vivid portrait of the country’s painful past and offers insight on Chile’s situation today. Important historically, socially and politically, this moving film expresses both the courage of women and the vitality of a nation.
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Thunder in Guyana

THUNDER IN GUYANA is the remarkable tale of Janet Jagan, a young woman from Chicago who married Guyanese activist Cheddi Jagan, and set off for the British colony to start a socialist revolution. For more than fifty years, the couple fought tirelessly to liberate the country from colonial rule and exploitation—despite battering by the international press, imprisonment and the intervention of world figures including Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Free and fair elections were instituted in the early 90's, and Janet Jagan was elected president of Guyana in 1997, the first foreign-born and first woman to serve in the role. Historian Suzanne Wasserman (Jagan’s cousin) creates a rich historical portrait combining interviews with friends and family, excerpts from Janet’s letters, archival photographs and footage, and video captured during Janet’s dramatic presidential campaign. The film, with cinematography by Sundance Award winner Debra Granik, illuminates the life of an extraordinary woman and the complex history of the little understood country of Guyana.
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Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders

In 1965, when three women walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C., they had come a very long way. Neither lawyers nor politicians, they were ordinary women from Mississippi,and descendants of African slaves. They had come to their country’s capital seeking civil rights, the first black women to be allowed in the senate chambers in nearly 100 years. A missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, this powerful documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it – and emerged as its grassroots leaders. Their living testimony offers a window into a unique moment when the founders’ promise of freedom and justice passed from rhetoric to reality for all Americans. Through moving interviews and powerful archival footage, STANDING ON MY SISTERS' SHOULDERS weaves a story of commitment, passion and perseverance and tells the story of the women fought for change in Mississippi and altered the course of American history forever.
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Elida Schogt Trilogy

Elida Schogt’s deeply personal trilogy of short documentaries on Holocaust memory: ZYKLON PORTRAIT (1999), THE WALNUT TREE (2000) and SILENT SONG (2001) have been screened around the globe, garnering numerous awards. This trilogy includes: ZYKLON PORTRAIT, a Holocaust film without Holocaust imagery that 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. THE WALNUT TREE examines Holocaust memory, the family, and the role of photography in history through a striking combination of documentary and experimental approaches. As its point of departure, the film shows three girls in Dutch costumes posing for their father's camera. This sweet but fleeting moment, made static in a snapshot, is contrasted with live-action images of railway tracks--tracks that carried the death transports--now blurred by the passage of time. “In SILENT SONG Schogt deftly conjures an elaborate dialogue around issues of memory in its various forms - personal, historical, filmic… [her] rich and nuanced economy of style is brilliantly illustrated here as these meditations lead to the most basic, yet most cogent statements on the nature of memory itself. Perhaps more importantly, Schogt points to the unstable nature of the recorded image, one that history has come to rely on.” - Barbara Goslawski, Independent Film Critic and Curator, Toronto
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Reconstruction

Filmmaker Irene Lusztig unearths a dark family secret in search of answers and reconciliation in her breakthrough feature documentary, RECONSTRUCTION. In communist Romania 1959, Lusztig’s maternal grandmother, Monica Sevianu, took part in a failed bank robbery (known as the Ioanid Gang bank heist) and was condemned to life in prison. Forty years later, the filmmaker returns to Bucharest to reassemble the pieces of her shocking story and construct a portrait of her estranged and enigmatic grandmother. The title of the documentary derives from a bizarre government propaganda film that reenacts the crime and trial of the robbery and shockingly stars the actual members of the Ioanid Gang – including Monica Sevianu. This surreal docu-drama incorporates interviews, contemporary footage shot in Bucharest and rare archival images, Lusztig reveals a mesmerizing family story spanning three generations about the subversive crime of six Jewish intellectuals, while presenting a compelling and complex examination of modern-day Romania.
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Children of the Crocodile

This documentary tells the story of two young Timorese-Australian activists – one a high profile human rights worker, the other a performance artist and lesbian – and their personal journey to further the cause of peace in the homeland they were forced to flee. Although merely infants when their families left East Timor to seek political asylum in Australia, Cidalia Pires and Elizabeth Exposto carry on their parents’ human rights work promoting the Timorese struggle. Their tireless activist efforts are documented through two amazing years in East Timor’s history - from the joy of voting for freedom in August 1999 to the rage at the destruction that followed and time of renewed commitment and hope. Their country’s independence fulfills their lifetime dream, but it also brings hard choices and painful returns for them both. Cidalia, in particular, faces the additional challenge of being an openly gay Timorese woman in a culture heavily steeped in tradition and conservative gender roles. CHILDREN OF THE CROCODILE tells a story which is personal yet universal - about ideals, identity, and the strength of an exile community that is committed to furthering the cause of peace in their native land.
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Silent Song

“In SILENT SONG Schogt deftly conjures an elaborate dialogue around issues of memory in its various forms - personal, historical, filmic… [her] rich and nuanced economy of style is brilliantly illustrated here as these meditations lead to the most basic, yet most cogent statements on the nature of memory itself. Perhaps more importantly, Schogt points to the unstable nature of the recorded image, one that history has come to rely on.” - Barbara Goslawski, Independent Film Critic and Curator, Toronto
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The Walnut Tree

Through a striking combination of documentary and experimental approaches, THE WALNUT TREE examines Holocaust memory, the family, and the role of photography in history. As its point of departure, the film shows three girls in Dutch costumes posing for their father's camera. This sweet but fleeting moment, made static in a snapshot, is contrasted with live-action images of railway tracks--tracks that carried the death transports--now blurred by the passage of time. Fragments of an interrupted childhood emerge in the matter-of-fact narration by the filmmaker's mother, recounting the fate of the family's photo album, her parents' walnut tree, and her final memories of her mother and father in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. A follow-up to her award-winning ZYKLON PORTRAIT, Elida Schogt's latest film is an eloquent mediation on survival and the stories called forth from within and beyond the frame.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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. As Jane members describe finding feminism and clients describe finding Jane, archival footage and recreations mingle to depict how the repression of the early sixties and social movements of the late sixties influenced this unique group. Both vital knowledge and meditation on the process of empowerment, Jane: An Abortion Service showcases the importance of preserving women's knowledge in the face of revisionist history. JANE: AN ABORTION SERVICE was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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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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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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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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Women Who Made the Movies

From the very beginnings of motion picture history, women have played prominent roles in front of the camera. But little is known about the major roles women played behind the camera as directors, writers, editors and other creative roles. Women were making films of great importance at the same time that better known male directors such as Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith were monopolizing cinema history. Until recently, many of their contributions have been forgotten or ignored. WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES traces the careers and films of directors such as Alice Guy Blaché, arguably the first person to direct a film with a plot in 1896, "La Fée Aux Choux," who also experimented with color, synchronized sound, and films that gradually became more and more ambitious in length and subject matter. Others documented in this film include Ida Lupino, who also had a long career as an actor; Ruth Ann Baldwin, who directed numerous early westerns; Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's film propagandist; as well as Dorothy Davenport Reid, Lois Weber, Kathlyn Williams, Germaine Dulac, Cleo Madison and many other women who made a lasting contribution to film history. WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES features film clips, stills and other archival materials, bringing to life the work of these essential and often neglected filmmakers.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Pregnant with Dreams

Engaging, intimate and fast-moving, this film reflects the diversity and richness of Latin American feminism by documenting the 4th Encuentro Feminista Latinoamericano y del Caribe which brought together more than 1,200 Latin American women for a week in Mexico in 1987.
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Snakes and Ladders

Like our own children’s game, Chutes and Ladders, the story of women’s education has always been one step forward, two steps back. In this creative documentary, a fictional woman detective acts as our guide to the history of women’s education in Australia, one surprisingly like our own. Featuring interviews with ten women (including Anne Summers, the editor of MS. Magazine) aged sixteen to ninety-four, SNAKES AND LADDERS combines personal memories with historical detail, analyses and clever animated sequences to begin to fill in a missing story of women’s determination and vision. A significant addition to curricula in Women’s Studies, History and Education.
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Invocation

Maya Deren is a legend of avant-garde cinema. This authoritative biography of the charismatic filmmaker, poet and anthropologist features excerpts from her pioneering Meshes of the Afternoon and her unfinished documentary on Haiti, interviews with Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas, and recordings of her lectures. Narrated by actress Helen Mirren, this definitive documentary offers startling insights into one of the most intriguing, accomplished figures in cinema history.
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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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The Maids

Domestic service has long been branded as demeaning work: it involves long hours, menial toil and low pay. Historically, and not coincidentally, it has been one of the only occupations open to African American women in this country. As African American women have begun to move away from domestic labor into other jobs, white-owned entrepreneurial maid services employing primarily white women have arisen. This intriguing and articulate documentary looks at the history of domestic work since slavery and the ambivalence felt by African American women towards it. Offering a sophisticated analysis of the racial and sexual division of labor in this country, THE MAIDS! is an excellent resource for women's, African American and labor studies.
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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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Master Smart Woman

From the award-winning director of THE WHITE HERON and THE TWO WORLDS OF ANGELITA, this loving portrait is a much deserved re-evaluation of Sarah Orne Jewett's contribution to American literature. Recently rediscovered by feminist literary scholars, Jewett was a fiercely independent woman, a critically acclaimed 19th century author, and an important role model for a generation of women writers.
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Women of Steel

For women who entered the nation's steel mills in the 1970s, the mill was a ticket out of traditionally low-paying "women's jobs" and in some cases, out of poverty. But any gains for women were short lived. WOMEN OF STEEL looks at a turning point in the history of American industry and the disastrous effects widesweeping layoffs and plant closings had on women and families, affirmative action plans, and the union movement. An important historical documentary which has an eerie relevance to women's place in the American economy today.
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Louder Than Our Words

A look at civil disobedience and women's rights in the U.S. from the suffragettes through the anti-war and disarmament movements.
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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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Greetings from Washington DC

A kaleidoscope of music, dance, stories and laughter shared at the first gay and lesbian rights march on Washington.
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Remembering Thelma

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

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

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

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

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

A classic chronicle of women's relationship to gynecology and healthcare, produced by Women Make Movies. In this bold and sensitive documentary, women of all ages and backgrounds speak candidly of their experiences with the healthcare system. HEALTHCARING documents the growing number of women who are questioning longstanding medical practices and working to implement alternative and more effective health care. The positive, warm style of the film encourages women to share their own experiences and gain a better sense of their right to receive better healthcare.
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