Primas

PRIMAS is an evocative and poetic portrait of two Argentine teenage cousins who come of age together as they overcome the heinous acts of violence that interrupted their childhoods. When Rocío was 10 years old, she was dragged from her bike by a stranger, raped, set on fire and left for dead. Now a teenager, she still grapples with memories of the nightmarish assault that left her body scarred. Together with her cousin Aldana, who was sexually abused for years by her own father, she lives, laughs and shares her story. Traveling through Argentina and Montreal, the two cousins embark upon a program of theater, dance, and circus that helps them process complex emotions. Little by little, they manage to rebuild the lives that were so brutally stolen from them and free themselves from the shadows of their past. A humanistic exploration of familial love, creativity, and courage in the wake of sexual violence, PRIMAS is a moving tribute to the deep strength of resilient women.
Learn more

Sonita

Two-time Sundance Film Festival award winner SONITA tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (GOING UP THE STAIRS) poignantly shifts from observer to participant altering expectations, as Sonita's story unfolds in this personal and joyful portrait. An intimate portrait of creativity and womanhood, SONITA highlights the rarely seen intricacies and shifting contrasts of Iranian society through the lens of an artist who is defining the next generation.
Learn more

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.
Learn more

Water Children

In this acclaimed, hauntingly beautiful film, director Aliona van der Horst follows the unconventional Japanese-Dutch pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama as she explores the miracle of fertility and the cycle of life—sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic. When Mukaiyama recognized that her childbearing years were ending, she created a multimedia art project on the subject in a village in Japan, constructing what she calls a cathedral, out of 12,000 white silk dresses. While Mukaiyama’s own mesmerizing music provides a haunting backdrop to the film, her installation elicits confessions from its normally reticent Japanese visitors, many of whom have never seen art before—and in moving scenes they open up about previously taboo subjects. Mukaiyama’s courageous approach to a subject that remains unspoken in many cultures is explored with an elegance and sophistication that deepens our understanding of the relationship between body and mind.
Learn more

Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC

Fed up with the calcification of punk into a male-dominated, misogynistic and increasingly mainstream movement, the birth of Riot Grrrl inthe late 1980s brought together feminism and pop culture in an empowering, noisy union. The angry music of Riot Grrrl bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile became a creative outlet to confront issues too often silenced in the media: rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism and female empowerment. Riot Grrrl created a feminist subculture which made its members active, front and center participants in the alternative punk scene. Filmmaker Abby Moser was at the heart of the NYC Riot Grrrl movement, filming them between 1993 and 1996, creating an invaluable archive for students learning the history of feminism. She captured the excitement of the times, and the articulate self-awareness of its members. She also documents their frustration with a mainstream media which dismissed feminism as a hobby, and the group’s own difficulties respecting the race and class divisions amongst themselves. Interweaving contemporary interviews with archival footage, this documentary examines the role of Riot Grrrl in launching third-wave feminism, and changing the face of women in music for future generations.
Learn more

Sarabah

Rapper, singer and activist, Sister Fa is hero to young women in Senegal and an unstoppable force for social change. A childhood victim of female genital cutting (FGC), she decided to tackle the issue by starting a grassroots campaign, “Education Without Excision,” which uses her music and persuasive powers to end the practice. But until 2010 there’s one place she had never brought her message – back home to her own village of Thionck Essyl, where she fears rejection. SARABAH follows Sister Fa on this challenging journey, where she speaks out passionately to female elders and students alike, and stages a rousing concert that has the community on its feet. A portrait of an artist as activist, SARABAH shows the extraordinary resilience, passion and creativity of a woman who boldly challenges gender and cultural norms. It’s an inspiring story of courage, hope and change.
Learn more

Say My Name

In a hip hop and R&B world dominated by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of SAY MY NAME speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female MCs. This worldwide documentary takes viewers on a vibrant tour of urban culture and musical movement, from hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, to grime on London’s Eastside, to Philly, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and L.A., and points in between. Featuring interviews and musical performances from a diverse cast of women that includes Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, as well as newcomers Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona, this powerful documentary delves into the amazing personal stories of women balancing professional dreams with the stark realities of poor urban communities, race, sexism, and motherhood. The more than 18 artists featured in SAY MY NAME battle for a place in a society that creates few chances for women. From emerging artists filled with new creativity, to true pioneers like MC Lyte, Roxxanne Shante, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.
Learn more

Buoyant

Julie Wyman’s ebullient experimental documentary intertwines the story of the Padded Lilies, a troupe of fat synchronized swimmers, Archimedes, the Greek mathematician obsessed with floating bodies, and the inventor of the “Drystroke Swimulator” to investigate, proclaim and celebrate the fact that fat floats! As the Padded Lillies prepare for their appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", BUOYANT follows their rigorous training and strategizing as they promote their message of body-acceptance, fat-empowerment, and fitness at any size. A school-marmish voiceover moves on to tell the story of Archimedes, classical Greek mathematician and discoverer of pi, as he tackles one of his more difficult problems: how to measure the volume of an irregularly shaped object. The final vignette, performed by Wyman herself, captures the trials and tribulations of the inventor at work on the “Drystroke Swimulator” (patent pending) -- a contraption designed to allow its user to swim outside of water. Giddy and irreverent, moving fluidly between color and black and white, video and film, handheld and locked-down camera styles, Buoyant draws attention to its own surface and leaves us with the exuberant possibility of a fat body that literally and culturally rises, like cream, to the top.
Learn more

CORPUS: A Home Movie for Selena

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

Nobody Knows My Name

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

The Righteous Babes

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

Conjure Women

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

Song Journey

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

Sphinxes Without Secrets

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

Praise House

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

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.
Learn more

Gotta Make This Journey

This vibrant and engaging film profiles the a capella activist group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Singing to end the oppression of Black people world wide, SWEET HONEY embraces musical styles from spirituals and blues to calypso, and concerns ranging from feminism to ecology, peace and justice. This dynamic film features individual portraits, powerful concert footage and commentary by Angela Davis, Alice Walker and Holly Near.
Learn more

...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.
Learn more

Bhangra Jig

A vibrant short film about how young Asian people in Scotland celebrate desire and self-pride through dance and music.
Learn more
Shopping Cart