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Woman's Studies

Woman's Studies


In an age when it's neither socially or legally necessary, why do Canadians choose to marry? This provocative documentary looks at a convention that is not only persistent but thriving. It begins with a young couple whose piercings and tattoos would lead you to believe they are not the marrying kind, but Kathleen McEvoy and Andrew Sherratt have decided to marry for reasons that are as old fashioned as the institution itself. It's the moral thing to do, they say. But there are couples who marry just to have the party. They are lured by the romance of the event and the idea of being prince and princess for day, encouraged by a huge wedding industry that promotes the sensational wedding. And if it's not the couple who wants the marriage, it may very well be their parents who insist on the nuptials. Why Do We Marry? Takes viewers beyond the ceremony to reveal the many reasons why people say "I do".

DVD / 2007 / (Grades 10-12, Adult Education, Post Secondary ) / 45 minutes

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Social and developmental psychologist and author Lynn Phillips explores the line between consent and coercion in this thought-provoking look at popular culture and the ways real girls and women navigate their heterosexual relationships and hookups. Featuring dramatizations of interviews that Phillips conducted with hundreds of young women, the film examines how the wider culture's frequently contradictory messages about pleasure, danger, agency, and victimization enter into women's most intimate relationships with men. The result is a refreshingly candid, and nuanced, look at how young women are forced to grapple with deeply ambivalent cultural attitudes about female sexuality. Essential for courses that look at popular culture, gender norms, sexuality, and sexual violence.

  • "Avoiding simplistic dichotomies, Phillips eloquently negotiates the tricky terrain between female pleasure and male accountability." - Rhoda Unger, Montclair State University

  • "A fascinating study of the ways young women grapple with the surprising paradoxes and contradictions expressed in young women's fears, fantasies, beliefs, and desires." - Sara Ruddick, Author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

  • "Phillips has... a keen sense of the uncertainties and competing forces that shape heterosexual relationships for contemporary young women." - Psychology of Women Quarterly

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2012 / Approx 55 minutes

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    By Noga Ashkenazi

    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.

  • "This insightful and thought-provoking documentary asks us to truly see the most invisible women in the United States - women in the criminal justice system. One cannot walk away from this film untouched or unaware of the reality of incarcerated women's lives. The Grey Area challenges us to take action and advocate for the reassessment of our current policies and programs." - Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D., Co-director, Center for Gender & Justice, La Jolla, CA

  • "A compelling example of the power of feminism to bridge barriers between women and to heal some of the damage they have endured." - Michael Kimmel, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, SUNY

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 65 minutes

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    Director: Lea Pool

    The ubiquitous pink ribbons of breast cancer philanthropy - and the hand-in-hand marketing of brands and products associated with that philanthropy - permeates our culture, providing assurance that we are engaged in a successful battle against this insidious disease. But the campaign obscures the reality and facts of breast cancer - more and more women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and face the same treatment options they did 40 years ago. Yet women are also the most influential market group, buying 80 percent of consumer products and making most major household purchasing decisions. So then who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns - the cause or the company? And what if the very companies and products that profit from their association have actually contributed to the problem?

    In showing the real story of breast cancer and the lives of those who fight it, Pink Ribbons, Inc. reveals the co-opting of what marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause."

  • "Indignant and subversive... Resoundingly pops the shiny pink balloon of the breast cancer movement/industry, debunking the 'comfortable lies' and corporate double-talk that permeate the massive and thus-far-ineffectual campaign against a disease that claims nearly 60,000 lives each year in North America alone." - John Anderson, Variety

    DVD-R / 2012 / 98 minutes

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    By Karoline Frogner

    During the 1994 genocidal campaign that claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 Rwandans and committed atrocities against countless others, Daphrose Mukarutamu, a Tutsi, lost her husband and all but two of her 11 children. In the aftermath she considered suicide. But instead, she took in 20 orphans and started Duhozanye, an association of Tutsi and Hutu widows who were married to Tutsi men. This powerful documentary by award-winning Norwegian director Karoline Frogner recounts the story of Duhozanye's formation and growth - from a support group of neighbors who share their traumatic experiences, rebuild their homes, and collect and bury their dead, to an expanding member-driven network that advances the empowerment of Rwandan women. Featuring first-person accounts by Daphrose and other Duhozanye widows, the film shows association members helping women victims of rape and HIV/AIDS, running small businesses and classes in gender violence prevention, and taking part in national reconciliation through open-air people's courts where they can face, and often forgive, their loved ones' killers

    DVD (Kinyarwanda, Norwegian, Color) / 2011 / 52 minutes

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    Directors: David Redmon & Ashley Sabin

    Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from her rustic home in Russia and dropped into the center of bustling Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley's initial discovery of Nadya, they rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya's optimism about rescuing her family from financial hardship grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley's more jaded outlook about the industry's corrosive influence.

  • "A haunted glimpse into exploited youth." - Variety

  • "The film illuminates and personalizes some details to which even fashion insiders may not be privy." - The New York Times

    DVD-R (English, Japanese & Russian with English Subtitles) / 2011 / 77 minutes

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    By Abby Moser

    Throughout 1992 and 1993, sensationalized accounts of the Riot Grrrl phenomenon appeared in publications all over the country, describing a new subculture that had emerged out of the underground punk scene. Despite the intense media interest in Riot Grrrl, little video documentation of this important facet of feminist and pop culture history exists, due in part to a decision by Riot Grrrls to no longer engage with the mainstream media that sensationalized, misrepresented and co-opted them. Filmmaker Abby Moser was granted access to Riot Grrrl NYC, the New York City chapter of this international movement. She interviewed individual members of the group, and documented meetings, rock shows, marches and events. An invaluable historical document, GRRRL LOVE AND REVOLUTION glimpses how the women in Riot Grrrl NYC organized and participated in a movement that revitalized a stagnant alternative rock scene, created safe spaces for women musicians and queer punks, and created a new wave of DIY feminist politics.

  • "Riot grrrl NYC was an activist group, a feminist group, a LGBT group, but above all it was a community, where female artists and musicians supported each other and created together. The documentary does a wonderful job of capturing this sense of community and the power it had in inciting change. I highly recommend that anyone interested in feminism and riot grrrl see this movie!" - Grrrl Beat Magazine

  • "Grrrl Love and Revolution is an essential document that offers a rare inside look at Riot Grrrl as it really was." - Sara Marcus, Author, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 42 minutes

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    By Amanda Homsi-Ottosson

    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 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.

  • "About a fascinating Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad who has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded 'Jasad' (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine." - International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam

  • "The documentary opens up discussion about sexuality through a magazine that breaks taboos and challenges both stereotypes and language... what Haddad likes to call "a slap out of amnesia." - The Frontline Club

  • "Opens up discussion and debate." - Al Arabiya News

    DVD (English, Arabic, Color) / 2011 / 40 minutes

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    By Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James

    Oscar-shortlist selection THE LOVING STORY, the debut feature by Full Frame documentary festival founder Nancy Buirski, is the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage.

    This evocative documentary, which incorporates luminous, newly discovered 16mm footage of the Lovings and their young ACLU lawyers Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, as well as first-person testimony and rare documentary photographs by LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet, recounts the little-known story of the Loving family. The marriage of Mildred (who was part-black and part-Native American) and Richard (who was white) was declared illegal in 1958 by their home state of Virginia. They refused to leave one another and, with the help of the ACLU, relentlessly pursued their right to happiness.

    Their case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decision finally struck down state laws against interracial marriage throughout the country. THE LOVING STORY takes us behind the scenes of the legal challenges and the emotional turmoil that they entailed, documenting a seminal moment in history and reflecting a timely message of marriage equality in a personal, human love story.

  • "It seems a throwback when many of today's presidential hopefuls rail against federal government interference in state's rights, threaten to rein in liberal activist courts, and use ACLU as a dirty word." - Mary C. Curtis, The Washington Post

  • "...the most romantic and moving documentary of the year..." - Bust Magazine

  • Winner, WGA Screenplay Award, 2011 Silverdocs Documentary Festival
  • Centerpiece, 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

    DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2011 / 77 minutes

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    Directed by Nadia El Fani

    Winner of the International Secular Prize, Tunisian-Franco filmmaker Nadia El Fani, an avowed atheist, takes a personal approach to this cinematic exploration of secularism in the Muslim country of Tunisia before and after the deposition of Ben Ali. The film, which was made by at the height of the 2010-2011 revolutions in North Africa, has proven so controversial and explosive that it has made the director a target of extremist death threats.

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 71 minutes

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    By Michele Midori Fillion

    Before World War II, war reporting was considered to be absolutely "no job for a woman." But when the United States entered the war, American women reporters did not want to miss covering the biggest story of the century so they fought for and won access. But there was a catch: women reporters would be banned from the frontlines, prevented from covering front page stories about generals and battlefield maneuvers, and assigned "woman's angle" stories about nurses and female military personnel. Several women reporters refused to abide by these journalistic conventions and military restrictions and, instead, brought home a new kind of war story: one that was more intimate yet more revealing. They reached beyond the battlefield and deep into human lives to tell a new story of war.

    Narrated by Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies, this historical documentary focuses on the lives and work of wire service reporter Ruth Cowan, magazine reporter Martha Gellhorn, and war photographer Dickey Chapelle. Their stories are brought to life with rarely seen archival footage and stills with actors reading the written words of the three main characters and with interviews of contemporary female war reporters.

  • "'No Job for a Woman' captures the essence of what it was like for not only a woman, but any war correspondent having the task of writing about the horrors of battle." - Doug Miles, Examiner.com

    DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2011 / 61 minutes

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    By Corine Huq

    In this enlightening and informative film, Corine Huq examines how for centuries the Qu'ran has been interpreted by men to suppress women, but in fact when it was written it represented an enlightened approach to women. Renowned Muslim feminist scholars and journalists, including Asra Q. Nomani, Mona Eltahawy, Azadeh Moaveni, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl and Asma Gull Hasan, detail how from early on very different understandings of the Qu'ran lead to vastly different translations, with enormous repercussions for women living in different Islamic societies around the world. The film alternates between the history of Mohammad and his women, and issues facing women in Islam today-from the wearing of the veil, to praying in the mosque, and attitudes towards domestic violence and honor killings. It also looks athow feminism works within Islam in the modern era. By returning to the roots of Islam, and understanding how societies have found justification for their treatment of women within the Islamic sources, this thoughtful and far reaching film debunks the myths about women and Islam, paving a new way forward. RIGHTS AND WRONGS is the essential film for answering the many questions we have about Islam-and its often debated relationship to women.

  • "[S]uperbly crafted documentary on women in Islam-past and present. ...extremely valuable as a unique teaching tool to courses in Women Studies and Near Eastern Studies as well as courses on the documentary genre." - Lynne McVeigh, Associate Professor, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 135 minutes

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    By Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

    SAVING FACE is a harshly realistic view of some incredibly strong and impressive women. Every year in Pakistan, many women are known to be victimized by brutal acid attacks, with numerous cases going unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred. Many reported assailants, typically a husband or someone else close to the victim, receive minimal punishment from the state.

    Plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad left his prominent London practice to return to his home country and help the victims of such attacks. Two of these women, Zakia and Rukhsana, are victims of brutal acid attacks by their husbands and in Rukhsana's case, her in-laws as well. Both attempt to bring their assailants to justice and move on with their lives with the help of NGOs, sympathetic policymakers, politicians, support groups with other acid attack victims and Dr. Jawad. SAVING FACE also depicts a Pakistan that is changing - one where ordinary people can stand up and make a difference and where marginalized communities can seek justice.

  • "The 'victims' in Saving Face are some of the strongest, most impressive women you will ever come across. She showed us their scars, and we saw their true beauty. ... I dare anyone to watch this film and not be moved to tears and inspired into action." - Angelina Jolie, Time Magazine

  • "This film...has the impact of an epic. ...it takes a realistic, level-headed view of the people involved, and of the surgical process. It follows the efforts of a woman member of Parliament to introduce a bill establishing life sentences for those guilty of acid attacks, and it passes unanimously." - Roger Ebert, Film Critic

  • "Obaid Chinoy's film is one part of [the] education and awareness-raising effort that could help ease the suffering of women not just in Pakistan but in other countries where acid attacks happen." - CBC News

  • Academy Award Winner for Documentary (Short Subject)

    DVD (Color, Urdu, With English, Subtitles) / 2011 / 40 minutes

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    By Renate Costa Perdomo

    When Rodolfo Costa was found naked on the floor of his home in Paraguay, he had been dead for days. Though ostensibly jobless, he had mysteriously amassed a small fortune. He also had a secret alias-Hector Torres-and a secret life.

    At the time, Renate Costa Perdomo was a young girl. Asked to select her uncle's burial garb, she found his closet empty. Surely the lively, colorfully-dressed Rodolfo she knew could not, as those around her claimed, have died of sadness.

    In her powerful debut feature, which unfolds like a mystery novel, Costa Perdomo investigates the shadowy circumstances of Rodolfo's death. Witnesses and clues gently reveal Rodolfo's true identity as a persecuted gay man and the terrifying "108" homosexual blacklists that ruined lives, careers, and families. The film is also a fascinating portrait of the relationship between the filmmaker, who has left Paraguay and now lives in Spain, and her now-divorced father, Pedro Costa, who remains in the family blacksmithing shop. 108 is a moving illustration of the impact that the right-wing dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled Paraguay from 1954 to 1989, had on the so-called "108"s living in the country as experienced by a single Paraguayan gay man and his family.

  • World Premiere, 2010 Berlin Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Film, Buenos Aires Human Rights Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Film, 2010 One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 91 minutes

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    Director: Duane Baughman & Johnny O'Hara

    A recent Sundance world premiere, Bhutto tells the epic story of one of the most fascinating characters of our time-- Benazir Bhutto, the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation. A favored daughter of the family often called the "Kennedys of Pakistan," Benazir was elected Prime Minister after her father was overthrown and executed by his own military. Her two terms in power saw extreme acts of courage and controversy as she tried to clean up Pakistan's corrupt political culture while quelling the fires of radical Islam that threaten to engulf the region. A fascinating array of archival footage and interviews with family members and leading experts brings life to this tale of Shakespearean dimension in the country the Economist calls "the World's most dangerous place."

  • "Breathes life and heart into a history little known in the west." - Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune

    DVD / 2010 / 111 minutes

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    By Gustavo Beck & Leonardo Luiz Ferreira

    In CHANTAL AKERMAN, FROM HERE, the renowned Belgian filmmaker sits down for an hour-long conversation about her entire body of work.

    Throughout, the camera holds steady from outside an open door. The long, unbroken shot, and the frame-within-a-frame pay homage to Akerman's own unmistakable style ("I need a corridor. I need doors. Otherwise, I can't work", she says). But by shooting her in profile, the filmmakers provide a contrast to the signature frontality of her compositions (one of the many subjects covered in the wide-ranging interview) - an acknowledgement of this portrait's contingency also underlined by the title.

    Akerman describes her first experiences with avant-garde film in New York, and, in particular, the lessons she took from the work of Michael Snow. She answers questions about her approach to fiction, documentary, and literary adaptation, covering everything from the early short LA CHAMBRE (1972) to the recent feature LA-BAS (2006). She explains her preference for small budgets and small crews, and the paramount importance of instinct and improvisation in her directorial process.

    She is nothing if not forthcoming, candidly assessing her successes and failures, including an aborted attempt at writing at Hollywood screenplay. An image emerges of a filmmaker as assured and idiosyncratic as the work suggests. We see that behind Akerman's cinematic innovations there is not only a remarkable intellectual clarity, but an ethical commitment to making films in which the viewer can "feel the time passing-by in your own body", because, she says, "that is the only thing you have: time."

  • "Fascinating...Elementary, decisive, up to date. Her every word, her choice of adjectives, the tempo of poses, her French accent in English, all count." - Jean-Pierre Rehm, FID Marseille

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 62 minutes

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    By Robert Greene

    At once universal and personal, this intimate documentary portrait of an Alabama teenage girl on the verge of her high school graduation captures three tumultuous days during which her future is cast into doubt.

    Eighteen-year-old Kati Genthner is followed, moment-by-moment, from her last day of school, as she takes leave of her friends, and prepares to move away with her parents. The center of Kati's life is her love affair with her boyfriend, 21-year-old James, whom she must convince him to come with her and leave everything he knows.

    Beautifully photographed by Sean Price Williams, Kati with an I brings the singular experience of one American teen to life. Literally a lifetime in the making-the director Robert Greene, Kati's step-brother, has been documenting her since childhood-Kati with an I is the moving story about one girl growing up.

  • "CRITIC'S PICK! Effortlessly captures the shape of a life poised between two stages and the trembling need to cling to the past while reaching for the future. With a poignancy that's remarkable for its complete lack of contrivance [it] achieves an un-self-conscious transcendence that can't be scripted." - Jeanette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

  • "CRITIC'S PICK! Beguiling, intimate, and poetic." - NEW YORK MAGAZINE

  • "There's a strange and probably impossible purity to Kati with an I. Impossible because it's a contemporary story about young love that doesn't display or refer to any text messages or emails or Facebook, because it makes a Red Jumpsuit Apparatus song sort of make you want to cry, and because its central tension feels so profoundly earnest." - Christopher Gray, SLANT MAGAZINE

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 86 minutes

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    Director: Jeanne Labrune

    In this darkly erotic drama from cult filmmaker Jeanne Labrune, Isabelle Huppert stars as a high-class prostitute named Alice who serves up sexual fantasies for her clientele, from schoolgirl innocence to S&M. Fed up with the seamy underbelly of French masculinity, Alice crosses paths with Xavier, a neurotic psychoanalyst facing a marriage crisis. The two quickly realize their professions share a thing or two in common as they navigate the overlapping worlds of psychotherapy and sex therapy.

  • "Smart, witty, entertaining!" - San Francisco Examiner

    DVD-R (French with English Subtitles) / 2010 / 95 minutes

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    By Nicole Clark

    Being thin, pretty and sexy brings happiness. Style over substance. Young girls receive these messages hundreds of times each day. But who sets these impossible beauty standards-and how can they be changed? In this eye-opening documentary, filmmaker Nicole Clark, a former Elite International fashion model-turned champion for young girls and their self-esteem, gets in the face of advertisers and fashion industry leaders and calls for something new: integrity and responsible media for our youth.

    COVER GIRL CULTURE pairs images of girls and women in television and print ads with footage from the catwalks and celebrity media and juxtaposes shocking interviews with models and editors from major magazines like Teen Vogue and ELLE with revealing insights from parents, teachers, psychologists, body image experts and most importantly, the voices and heartfelt testimonies of girls themselves.

    With rarely seen access into the beauty, fashion and advertising industries, the film addresses issues like today's increasingly invasive media and sexualization of girls and how consumer culture serves to disempower young women. An important examination of how advertising and the cult of celebrity have deeply and negatively impacted teens and young women, COVER GIRL CULTURE is a wake-up call for consumers and everyone affected by media.

  • "A hugely important piece for young girls everywhere.... [H]elps us understand why it is so imperative to guide our girls towards a healthy appreciation for the unique and beautiful aspects of themselves as individuals." - Mariel Hemingway, Actress

  • "Clark does not focus on the manipulation of women's bodies, but of our minds.... Funny... [and] heartbreaking." - Celeste Fraser Delgado, MOLI View

    DVD (Color) / 2009 / 80 minutes

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    By Mary Ann Smothers Bruni

    There is an alarming rise in "honor killing," the heinous act of men killing daughters, sisters, and wives who threaten "family honor," which endangers tens of thousands of women in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and adjoining countries. Global communication through satellite television, Internet, and cell phones has raised the expectations of young Middle Eastern women, who now are not content to marry a much older relative to their father might choose and live a life of servitude. While young women respond to new ideas from cyber pals in Los Angeles or episodes of popular Western sitcom, their fathers and brothers demand strict tribal justice for their acts.

    The Women's Media Center of Suleymaniyah, Iraq, has joined forces with Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to end the heinous practice of "honor killing" of women. First time filmmaker Mary Ann Smothers Bruni - who is an author and photographer - documents these horrible acts and the people who are fighting to end these senseless killings that take place in Kurdistan.

  • "...underscores the paradox that drives honor killing in Kurdistan. ... The film takes up several cases to illustrate the insidious permutations of "honor" in practice." - Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters, Director of Film & Media Studies, George Mason University

  • "...Bruni makes a point of tying the "uncivilized" custom of honor killing to violence against women worldwide and to domestic violence in the United States. The equation is worthy of contemplation." - Marcia G. Yerman, Huffington Post

  • "The documentary Quest For Honor not only penetrates [the] secretive and dangerous complicit male culture existing in Iraqi Kurdistan. But the mostly female crew courageously confronts hostility and death threats as they persist in their investigative mission to save lives. Constituting activist filmmaking at its most exemplary, both on and off camera." - Prairie Miller, News Blaze

  • Amsterdam Film Festival, Winner, Van Gogh Award

    DVD (Color) / 2009 / 63 minutes

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    By Thomas Keith

    Despite the achievements of the women's movement over the past four decades, misogyny remains a persistent force in American culture. In this important documentary, Thomas Keith, professor of philosophy at California State University-Long Beach, looks specifically at misogyny and sexism in mainstream American media, exploring how negative definitions of femininity and hateful attitudes toward women get constructed and perpetuated at the very heart of our popular culture.

    The film tracks the destructive dynamics of misogyny across a broad and disturbing range of media phenomena: including the hyper-sexualization of commercial products aimed at girls, the explosion of violence in video games aimed at boys, the near-hysterical sexist rants of hip-hop artists and talk radio shock jocks, and the harsh, patronizing caricatures of femininity and feminism that reverberate throughout the mainstream of American popular culture.

    Along the way, Generation M forces us to confront the dangerous real-life consequences of misogyny in all its forms - making a compelling case that when we devalue more than half the population based on gender, we harm boys and men as well as women and girls.

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2008 / 54 minutes

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    Directed by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre

    Carmen Dur works the graveyard shift in one of Tijuana 800 maquiladoras; she is one of six million women around the world who labor for poverty wages in the factories of transnational corporations. After making television components all night, Carmen comes home to a dirt-floor shack she built out of cast-off garage doors from the U.S., in a neighborhood with no sewage lines or electricity. She suffers from on-the-job kidney damage and lead poisoning from her years of exposure to toxic chemicals. She earns six dollars a day on which she must support herself and her three children.

    Starting in the 1980s the U.S. and Mexican governments initiated a trade agreement allowing components for everything from batteries, IV tubes, toys to clothes to be imported duty-free into Mexico, assembled there and then exported back duty-free as finished consumer goods for sale in the U.S. Tijuana became known as the television capital of the world, V-juana.Globalization promised jobs, and working class Mexicans uprooted their lives to flock to the northern frontier in search of better paying work. After a decades long boom in 2001, Tijuana suffered a recession as corporations chased after even cheaper labor in Asia.

    When the Sanyo plant where Carmen worked for six years moved to Indonesia, they tried to avoid paying the legally mandated severance pay. Carmen became a promotora, or grassroots activist, challenging the usual illegal tactics of the powerful transnationals. Through sheer persistence, Carmen and her fellow workers won the severance pay to which they were entitled by law.

    In making this documentary, the filmmakers worked collaboratively with the factory workers, providing cameras to the women and teaching them how to shoot. For five years the women documented their daily lives and the events in their communities, often giving the film the intimate tone of a video diary. Lourdes Lujan, another promotora, shows us her home, Chilpancingo, a barrio bisected by a stream which flows down from a bluff occupied by nearly 200 plants that expel hazardous wastes. Chief among these is Metales y Derivados, a long abandoned battery recycling factory whose U.S. owner relocated to San Diego in 1994 to avoid paying fines and clean-up costs, leaving behind 23,000 metric tons of toxic waste. Chilpancingo residents, downstream and downwind of the Metales site, began to suffer skin and respiratory problems and an abnormally high number of children with birth defects

    With the backing of the San Diego Environmental Health Coalition, a cross-border group advocating for a safer environment, Lourdes and her neighbors launched complaints with numerous Mexican agencies, including the equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency. The government apparent collusion with the polluters reminds Jaime Cota, a Tijuana labor leader, of a verse from Sor Juana de la Cruz: who is worse: the one who pays for sin or the one who sins for pay.?Describing themselves ironically as a ollective of busybodies,?and adopting the slogan, ijuana is no trashcan,?the Chilpancingo collective in 2004, after ten years of constant struggle, forced both the Mexican and American governments to begin a clean up of the Metales y Derivados site.

    While Maquilapolis shows that globalization gives corporations the freedom to move around the world seeking cheaper labor and more lax environmental regulations, it also shows that organized workers can successfully demand that the laws be enforced. Thanks to her persistence in demanding severance pay, Carmen house now has concrete floors. And thanks to her new knowledge of labor rights, she has since taken another factory to the labor board for a violation similar to Sanyo; she hopes one day to go to school and become a labor lawyer. Globalization turns workers into a commodity which can be bought anywhere in the world for the lowest price. Yet they are more than a commodity; they are human beings who demand to be treated with dignity. As one of Carmen colleagues says, make objects and to the factory managers I myself am only an object, a replaceable part of a production process don't want to be an object, I want to be a person, I want to realize my dreams.

    Maquilapolis can be screened in classes on International Studies, Labor Studies, Economics, Latin American Studies, Women Studies, Border Studies, Industrial Relations, Sociology, and Anthropology to introduce discussions of globalization impact on world labor. It will give a human face to the workers who are forced to find work as corporations seek out the cheapest labor possible. The film is entirely bilingual, with English or Spanish subtitles, as needed, so it can also be used to organize maquiladores workers to struggle for their rights.

  • "By making women themselves an integral part of the filmmaking process the director enables them to successfully tackle challenges many would consider hopeless. Refusing pity, these women exhibit a determination and faith in the future that can only be described as uplifting." - Jay Weissberg, Variety

  • "A portrait of the perils of globalization that admirably seeks new forms of expression...a stirring work that'll provoke genuine outrage. - The New York Times

  • "All who care about social justice, the environment, women rights and labor rights, should view this film. Maquilapolis should be screened in theaters, union halls, college campuses, and at the annual meeting of the World Social Forum. Many consider the U.S.-Mexico border to be he laboratory of the future.? In Maquilapolis the border is also the site where global capitalism is facing profound resistance. Maquilapolis is one of the most authoritative documentaries on cross-border organizing."Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Chair, Latin American/Latino Studies, University of California Santa Cruz

  • "Maquilapolis is a compelling look at the high, hidden costs of the global economy. It puts human beings front and center. This film is a must see!"Harley Shaiken, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

  • "Maquilapolis is a wonderful fusion of expose and imagination, delivering an unprecedented look into the realities of life in the border communities where the maquiladoras reign. Made in collaboration with the women whose lives center on these secretive factories, Maquilapolis succeeds in crossing borders and peering around corners to capture how the women caught in the contradictions of global capital understand their own positions. A key case study for anyone interested in transnational realities -- and subjectivities." - B. Ruby Rich, Community Studies Department & Social Documentation Program, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • "Argues not for special privileges but for a flicker of justice." - Richard Corliss, Time

  • "Anyone who's following the immigration debate should see this film for the reality check that it provides to the argument that investment in Mexico provides good jobs." - David D'Arcy, GreenCine Daily

  • "An old-fashioned story of potential, and of what can be accomplished through simple determination." - Martha Fischer, Cinematical

  • Winner of the 2007 Latin American Studies Association CASA Award of Merit in Film

    DVD (Closed Captioned, Spanish and English with bilingual subtitles) / 2006 / 68 minutes

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    Director: Aishah Shahidah Simmons

    NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities is a new documentary film about the impact of sexual violence on Black women and girls. As the incidents of violence and sexual assault continue on campuses and in communities across the country, this film can be used to support both women and men, regardless of race, as they learn to navigate the challenging terrain of sexuality --without violence. Created by an award-winning producer to shed light on the challenges and solutions to sexual assault in the African American community. NO! artfully combines socio-historical inquiry with messages from violence prevention advocates and first person testimonial from survivors. This film is the one tool you need to help students of all colors understand the complex dynamics of sexual assault.

    Major funding provided by the Ford Foundation.

    NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities :

  • Features national violence prevention leaders who help viewers question their assumptions about negotiating sexual relations and personal accountability.

  • Unprecedented focus on African Americans ensures inclusiveness for diversity programs and meets the special needs of communities of color. Use it for all audiences to unveil compassionate thinking and spark dialog.

  • Media literacy frameworks offer dramatic reflection on found footage from music videos and popular film clips.

  • Interviews and testimonial with survivors of assault typify the continuum of nonconsensual activity, and humanize the impact of violence.

  • Spoken word poets and cultural arts are included to lead viewers beyond trauma to healing resources.

  • Insightful analysis from sociologists, historians, and leading scholars in Women's studies, African American studies, and cultural studies make the program complex, thoughtful, and interdisciplinary.

  • Archival footage contextualizes historical changes in gender relations and documents American social movements impacting women and girls.

  • Featuring Violence Prevention Experts...

  • John T. Dickerson, Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center

  • Rev. Traci West, Ph.D., author, Wounds of the Spirit

  • Loretta Ross, former Director, Washington, D. C. Rape Crisis Center

  • Salamishah and Scheherazade Tillet, Founders, A Long Walk Home

  • Ulester Douglas and Sulaiman Nuriddin, Men Stopping Violence

  • Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., author, Surviving the Silence

  • Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Ph.D., Former SNCC Activist & Islamic Scholar

  • Featuring Noted Scholars...

  • Johnnetta B. Cole, President, Bennett College for Women

  • Farah Jasmine Griffin, African American Studies, Columbia University

  • Adrienne Davis, School of Law, University of North Carolina

  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Women's Studies, Spelman College

  • Aaronette M. White, African American and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University

  • "If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work this film begins." -Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

  • "This ground-breaking work creates needed space to debate the issue of how violence against women harms Black women and those who love them." - Patricia Hill Collins, University of Maryland

  • "Speaking truth to power" was often solely reserved for Black men, especially when Black men themselves were the subject of scrutiny. Filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons dares to "speak truth to power" with the emphatic power that the very exclamation NO! is intended to convey." - Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University

  • "We owe it to ourselves and to future generations not to turn our backs on this film. For in ignoring this film we would once again be ignoring the voices of women." - Kevin Powell, author, Who's Gonna Take the Weight? Manhood, Race and Power in America

  • "Heartbreaking, personal and ultimately empowering. NO! reaffirms the power of a Black woman's truth." - Joan Morgan, author, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

  • "With the eye of a poet and the rigor of a sociologist, Aishah Shahidah Simmons exposes an ugly reality of sexual violence. This is cinematic activism at its finest, as it is both a call to action and an expertly constructed documentary." - Gerald Horne, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  • "This DVD helps raise awareness about sexual assault and violence. Especially useful for counselors working with high-school and college students facing similar pressures and situations." - Booklist

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / 94 minutes

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    By Vivian Price

    Inspired by organizers at the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995, former construction worker Vivian Price spent years documenting the current and historical roles of women in the construction industry in Asia - discovering several startling facts. Capturing footage that shatters any stereotypes of delicate, submissive Asian women, Price discovers that women in many parts of Asia have been doing construction labor for centuries. But conversations with these women show that development and the resulting mechanization are pushing them out of the industry. Their stories disturb the notion of "progress" that many people hold and show how globalization, modernization, education and technology don't always result in gender equality and the alleviation of poverty.

    Celebrating a range of women workers - from a Japanese truck driver, to two young Pakistani women working on a construction site in Lahore, to a Taiwanese woman doing concrete work along side her husband - this film deftly probes the connections in their experiences. In a segment exploring the history of the Samsui women in Singapore (Chinese women who were recruited as construction laborers in the 1920's until they lost their jobs to mechanization in the 1970's) unique archival footage and interviews with surviving Samsui offer an importation perspective on the historical and global scope of women workers' struggles.

  • "An important and inspiring film. Recommended."-Educational Media Reviews Online

  • "Graphic and eloquent...Capturing both the common and distinct forms of sexism and oppression, [this film] demonstrates women's heroic efforts to unionize and fight for their rights as workers."-Mary Romero,Professor of Justice Studies and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University

  • "Provocative and compelling ... offers rare insight into the impact of globalization and workers' dignified acts of resistance and independence. A highly recommended educational resource." - Linda Trinh Vo, Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, Irvine, University of California

  • CINE Golden Eagle Award

    DVD (Chinese, Japanese,Thai, Tamil and Urdu, Color) / 2006 / 62 minutes

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    By David A. Feingold

    Trading Women enters the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians. Filmed in Burma, China, Laos, and Thailand, this is the first film to follow the trade in women in all its complexity and to consider the impact of this 'far away' problem on the gobal community.

    Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, the documentary investigates the trade in minority girls and women from the hill tribes of Burma, Laos and China, into the Thai sex industry. Filmed on location in China, Thailand and Burma, Trading Women follows the trade of women in all its complexity, entering the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex-workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians. The film also explores the international community's response to the issue.

    The culmination of five years of field research, Trading Women is the first film to demonstrate to viewers the relationship of the trade in drugs to the trade of women. The film dispels common beliefs about the sex trade, such as: "The problem is the parents - it's part of their culture to sell their daughters;" "The sex trade exists because of Western sex tours;" and "They sell their girls for TV's."

    "We take the audience behind the tourist tales and stereotyped news coverage to reveal the reality behind the myths," said David A. Feingold, the noted documentarian who wrote and directed Trading Women. "We show how much of what the audience thinks they know about the issue is much more complex than they imagined."

    Thirty years ago, there was a thriving sex industry in Thailand, but there were no minority girls in it - what happened? The film cites the destruction of the traditional upland economy by a combination of well-meaning development and opium suppression programs in Thailand, and civil unrest, economic dislocation, and political repression in Burma as the answer to this question. These environmental and political factors have resulted in threats to both the physical and cultural survival of the highland minorities. Today, while hill tribe girls are perhaps thirty percent of the total number of sex workers in Thailand, they are disproportionately represented relative to their total numbers in the population. Moreover, they are employed in the lowest, most exploitative part of the industry.

    Trading Women examines the choices that hill tribe women make, and how these choices are constrained by the economic and political conditions in which they find themselves. The documentary explores how the politics of Burma determines the supply of women to the sex industry in Thailand and how the lack of citizenship for hill tribe women puts them at a greater risk for trafficking.

    Trading Women also addresses the international response to the issue. "We find that it is an issue that, in the words of one United Nations official generates 'far more heat, than light'," said Feingold. The United States has passed a law that would block World Bank loans or other non-humanitarian aid to any country that does not meet America's minimum standards for combating trafficking. "Some believe this might be counter-productive - bringing little help to the victims and pushing the problem further underground," said Feingold.

    Trading Women conveys that this is not a simple issue with simple answers. It is an issue that affects the futures not only of young tribal women, but also of their communities.

    DVD (Color) / 2003 / 77 minutes

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    By Aminata Maraesa

    Woman to Woman is a documentary that offers a portrayal of the mainstream medicalized American birthing model and the rise of the doula profession that seeks to counter what doulas believe to be the ill effects of the overuse of medical technology. The film takes a retrospective look at one couple's decision to give birth with doula assistance while offering insightful commentary from doulas themselves.

    "Doula" is a Greek word meaning handmaiden, servant, or slave. Translated into the American birthing system, she is a woman who establishes professional contact with a woman usually in the last trimester of her pregnancy and is on-call for her birth. The doula accompanies the pregnant woman throughout her labor and delivery. She provides the continuity of care not offered in a mainstream hospital setting, assisting the laboring woman and her partner both physically and emotionally.

    As an objective and educated participant, the doula is able to explain the stages of labor as they occur and offer alternatives to the routinized medical protocol. Statistics and oral testimony demonstrate that the presence of a doula decreases a woman's chances of having a cesarean section and increases her ability to give birth without medical intervention.

    Woman to Woman weaves together footage from an 18 hour doula assisted labor and birth with interviews from doulas discussing the use of drugs during labor, pain management, and the role of male partners and family. The film also explores one doula's decision to birth at home with doula assistance. Through these stories, we hear the rationale behind doula assisted childbirth ranging from the wish to give birth free from drugs to the desire to surrender to the labor while feeling confident that one will be cared for.

    Woman to Woman is a story about natural childbirth as well as about the empowerment of women and their partners. And it is also a story about activism. While doulas are working to make a difference in the lives of other women, they are also making political ground within the mainstream medical establishment.

  • Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association Conference, Chicago, 2003
  • Broadcast, FreeSpeech TV, 2004
  • American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington DC, 2005

    DVD (Color) / 2003 / 26 minutes

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    Playing Unfair provides an in-depth critique of the sexism and homophobia that pervade media representations of female athletes. Woman's Studies media scholars Mary Jo Kane, Pat Griffin, and Michael Messner examine the disparity between the success of female athletes and Woman's Studies journalism's often trivialized and (hetero)sexualized coverage of them.

    DVD (With English, Spanish Subtitles) / 2002 / 30 minutes

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    By Jean Lydall and Kaira Strecker

    Duka is a married woman and mother of five young children, living in Hamar, Southern Ethiopia. Ever since her husband married a beautiful, young, second wife, Duka has been in a state of emotional turmoil. Among the Hamar, who live with herds and cultivate small fields of sorghum in their remote, bush-covered country, men are allowed to marry more than one wife, but only a few men ever do so.

    Duka wonders why her husband married again; did he find her too old, or was he turned off because of her chronic malaria? Also, she doesn't know what to make of the new wife who is silent and never expresses her feelings except in rage? And on top of this, her mother-in-law keeps making trouble and is angry with her son for marrying a second wife behind her back.

    Personal and intimate, the film follows the drama of this family in crisis, the high points of which are the birth of the new wife's child, and nine months later, a heated dispute between the mother-in-law and her son, which leads to the building of a new house.

    Duka, her husband, her mother-in-law and the second wife voice their different points of view as events proceed and the crisis finally gets resolved. The language of the film is Hamar, and is translated by subtitles. There is no need for extra commentary from the filmmakers, whose presence and close relationship to the people are always evident.

  • Premiere, Ethnographic Film Week, Goethe Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2002
  • Cinema du Reel, Paris, 2002
  • Gottingen International Ethnographic Film Festival, Germany, 2002
  • Beeld voor Beeld Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2002
  • Flahertiana - International Documentary Film Festival Perm, Russia, 2002
  • TV broadcast, WDR, Germany, 7.31.2002
  • Internationales Dokumentarfilm Festival Salekhard, Russia, 2002
  • 23rd Nordic Anthropological Film Association Conference & Festival, Finland, 2002
  • Academia Film Olomouc, Czech Republic, 2002
  • Neugart Film Festival, Germany, 2002
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York, 2002
  • Northeastern Anthropological Association Film Festival, Burlington, Vermont, 2003
  • 13th Festival Cinema Africano, Milan, Italy, 2003
  • The Royal Anthropological Institue Film Prize, 8th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, 2003
  • Parnu Documentary Film Festival, Estonia, 2003
  • DocSide Touring Film Festival, 2003
  • 3 Continents International Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2003
  • Documentary & Ethnographic Film Festival of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2003
  • International Black Women's Film Festival, San Francisco, 2004
  • South Film Festival, Israel, 2004
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival, Tanzania, 2004

  • Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology Screening Program, New Orleans, 2002
  • National Centre for Cinematography Award, Astra Film Festival, Sibiu, Romania, 2002

    DVD (Color, With English subtitles) / 2001 / 87 minutes

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    By Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson

    In Out of Order six former Catholic nuns tell why they entered and why they left religious life. The women (filmmaker Diane Christian is one of them) describe their years in the convent and their return to the secular world.

    The former nuns talk about single life and marriage (three are married, one to a former priest), about the changed place of religion in their lives, about sex roles, about institutional supports and burdens, about work. Three of the women teach - one at a state university, one in an inner city grammar school, one at a suburban high school. One woman is an artist, one an insurance agent, one a private investor. The film shows them at work and at home in New York, Massachusetts, Texas and Maryland.

    Out of Order offers unique insight into female socialization and identity in modern America by probing ideals and realities of womanhood, sex, work and service from an unknown and unusual perspective.

    DVD (Color) / 1983 / 89 minutes

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    By Richard Chen, Frank Tsai, Norma Diamond

    Mrs. Li, whose husband is a salaried factory worker, is a full participant in farming and community activities in addition to her role in supervising the children's education and managing the household.

    DVD (Color) / 1974 / 17 minutes

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    Director: Mary Olive Smith

    The award winning feature-length documentary A Walk to Beautiful tells the stories of five Ethiopian women who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries and embark on a journey to reclaim their lost dignity. Rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, these women are left to spend the rest of their lives in loneliness and shame. They make the choice to take the long and arduous journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in search of a cure and a new life.

  • Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form, 2009 Emmy Awards, September 2009
  • Feature Documentary Winner, IDA Awards, December 2007
  • "People's Choice" Award for Best Documentary, Denver International Film Festival, November 2007
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary and Interfaith Award for Best Documentary, St. Louis International Film Festival, November 2007
  • Human Rights Award, Docupolis, International Documentary Festival of Barcelona, October 2007
  • Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, San Francisco International Film Festival, May 2007

    DVD (Color) / 85 minutes

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    Imagine that you had been forcibly removed from your parents and raised never knowing your true heritage - all because of the color of your skin. Imagine that the white government wanted to make your entire race extinct - just because you weren't born white. If you lived in Australia this was your fate and you became part of the "Stolen Generation."

    How would it be if for one day the tables were turned and the whites could be made to feel what it was like to be part of this "Stolen Generation"?

    America's foremost diversity educator, Jane Elliott, did just that, as she conducted her world-famous blue eyed/brown eyed exercise in discrimination in Australia with the whites and Aborigines. Watch the astonishing and thoughtful results of this exercise.

    Ironically, this film is particularly useful in the United States, as participantsˇ¦ defenses are down, and their discussion of racism in Australia lends itself to a sequeway to discrimination in the U.S.

    DVD / 52 minutes

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