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Weekly New Releases - Women's Studies

Weekly New Releases - Women's Studies


By Alexandra Lescaze

A story of love, loss and last resorts

Through the personal stories of three severely obese women who choose weight-loss surgery, All of Me shines a fresh light on the causes, challenges, and intense psychological struggles surrounding obesity in our society, as well as our attitudes and prejudices towards the obese.

The "girls", as they call themselves, have been friends for years, having met through the Size Acceptance Movement. They've unsuccessfully tried every diet and pill in an effort to lose weight. Getting older and facing more health and mobility challenges, they choose gastric band or gastric bypass surgery as a last resort.

With searing honesty, the girls take us through their struggles before and after surgery, including a host of issues and consequences, some they expected, some they feared, and some they never could have imagined. They have varied post-op experiences, but one reality is true for all of them -- the surgery means the loss of their primary coping strategy (eating). And trying to shed hundreds of pounds changes everything in their lives -- their health, their self-images, their marriages, and even their friendships.

These women's stories represent the more than 200,000 Americans a year who choose weight-loss surgery, 80% of them women, as well as the millions of Americans who struggle with obesity and weight loss. Our society's standard diet and exercise talking points do not compute for many of those needing to lose a significant amount of weight.

All of Me provides a unique and thoughtful look at a community of people that is often vilified, the butt of jokes, or quite simply ignored in our society, and encourages viewers to examine their own prejudices and complicated relationships with food, fat, and their bodies.

  • "Outstandingly potent. This coolly penetrating film honors women who address the reality of their lives with ferocious eloquence." - Wall Street Journal

  • "The movie was very well done and so frank. It showed the real struggles of those who suffer with obesity both before and after weight loss surgery. We were all moved by the lives of these women." - Katy Merriman, Surgical Specialists, Shreveport, LA

  • "All of Me' grapples with the (often fraught) conversations surrounding weight loss surgery with inexhaustible compassion." - Kaye Toal www.bigfatfeminist.com

  • Winner, Audience Award, Austin Film Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2014 / (College - Adult) / 53 minutes

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    By Feriel Ben Mahmoud

    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. And its unique history is shaped by, and inseparable from, assertions of national identity and the fight for liberation from colonialism. 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. En route, FEMINISM INSHALLAH also considers the paradoxes of limited championship by conservative forces and regimes, as well as the setbacks imposed by Arab geopolitics and the rise of religious fundamentalism. 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

    DVD (Arabic, French, Color) / 2014 / 52 minutes

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    By Donna Zaccaro

    Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way is a feature-length documentary about the life and legacy of the trailblazing woman who made history in 1984 as the first female Vice Presidential nominee on a major party ticket in the United States.

    The film profiles Ferraro's life from an impoverished childhood, the struggles she endured while growing up, and the hurdles she faced and overcame both professionally and personally in order to achieve what no woman had done before.

    The primary focus of the film is Ferraro's public service and political career, from District Attorney in Queens, NY, and later respected member of Congress, to the emotional night of her Vice Presidential nomination and acceptance speech, along with the tough campaign that followed. Though the Mondale-Ferraro ticket was defeated, the film explores how Ferraro's landmark nomination and her conduct during that campaign changed the national perception of what was possible for women.

    The film features never-before-seen archival footage and stills, intimate interviews with Ferraro, and commentary by many leading political figures, both Democrat and Republican, as well as journalists who covered her campaign.

    With insider access, former NBC Today producer Donna Zaccaro, created a revealing personal portrait of her mother, a woman who changed the face of American politics forever.

    Among those interviewed and featured in the film are:
  • President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush
  • Vice President Walter Mondale
  • President Bill Clinton
  • Secretary Madeleine Albright
  • Secretary Hillary Clinton
  • Senator Barbara Mikulski
  • Senator Olympia Snowe
  • Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Cokie Roberts, reporter, NPR and ABC
  • Al Hunt, former reporter, Wall Street Journal
  • Ed Rollins, Republican campaign consultant
  • Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation

  • "Intriguing...fascinating...the film reminds us Ferraro's nomination was every bit the milestone." - Washington Post

  • "Ferraro's campaign eased America's long-running doubt that a woman could be accepted at that level of national leadership. She reset the bar at a place from which it couldn't be lowered." - New York Daily News

  • "Though Ferraro may have paved the way, 'Geraldine' reminds us how long and pitted the road can be." - Los Angeles Times

    DVD / 2014 / (Grades 6 - Adult) / 86 minutes

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    Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being outspoken about her country's education system. The Pakistani government spends seven times more on its military than on education and banned girls from attending school. Pakistan's literacy rate is among the lowest in the world, with the number of school aged children who don't attend school is second highest globally.

    Malala survived and is now the youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel peace Prize for her activism for female education. This is the story of Malala's fight for a right to education and freedom.

    DVD / 2014 / (Junior High, Senior High, College) / 60 minutes

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    By Jon Fitzgerald

    The U.S. has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, despite the fact it is the natural way to feed an infant. How did breastfeeding become the exception rather than the norm in America? And what would it take to restore this most natural act to its rightful place in our society?

    The Milky Way follows two accomplished lactation specialists, pediatric nurses Jennifer Davidson and Chantal Molnar, on a journey to discover how pervasive formula marketing and the modern challenges of motherhood changed the perception of breastfeeding in America, and why in other countries breastfeeding remains the standard.

    Through archival footage, ads and personal stories, the film shows how formula companies launched a successful campaign that helped convince mothers to trade in their breasts for baby bottles, which quickly became the recognizable symbol of infancy.

    Visiting several European countries, Davidson and Molnar witness how these countries manage to support breastfeeding mothers, recognizing that the physiology of the infant and mother during nursing is health-promoting, as well as protective. Their journey energizes them to seek to change the cultural and political landscape back home in order to encourage women in America to breastfeed their babies.

    Davidson and Molnar advocate for elevating new mothers to a place in our society where they receive the necessary support to nurse their children, where scientific evidence overrides formula marketing and other contemporary influences, and a woman does not fear nursing in public.

  • "What Food, Inc. and Supersize Me did for the food industry, The Milky Way is going to do for breastfeeding in America." - Eve Burns

  • "The Milky Way helps us to understand the vital importance of breastfeeding. As a health education specialist in an academic medical center, I would love to see this movie shown in all OB offices around the country to help mothers understand that the best way to feed their babies is breastfeeding." - Marra Williams, CHES | Certified Health Education Specialist, UC Irvine Health

  • "The Milky Way is an incredible, impassioned, must see documentary that will change the way you see mothers and babies." - Halle Berry

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2014 / (College - Adult) / 93 minutes

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    By Anneta Papathanassiou

    In Afghanistan, women deciding to be actors make a dangerous choice. Banned under Taliban rule (1994-2001), Afghan theater is experiencing a comeback with many women at the forefront. But with powerful forces of Islamic fundamentalism, a resurgent Taliban, and patriarchal traditions in play, actresses often face the harshest criticism and are even sometimes viewed as prostitutes. Socially ostracized, and pressured to abandon their careers, they receive beatings and death threats for them and their family. Some are forced to flee the country and some are even killed.

    PLAYING WITH FIRE introduces us to six courageous Afghan women who share their passions for acting, dreams, and difficult realities. They include Sajida, a student targeted by extremists; Monirah, besieged co-founder of an innovative women's theater troupe; Tahera, forced into exile because of award-winning work at a theater festival; Roya, whose TV career brings her constant harassment; and Leena and Breshna, unprotected by their stage and motion picture fame.

    Filmmaker Anneta Papathanssiou exposes pervasive erosions of Afghan women's rights. Her timely, eye-opening documentary perfectly captures art's transformative power and the dangers these courageous women face to do the work they love.

  • "Playing with Fire shows how difficult it is to be an actress in Afghanistan, a country which disapproves of women on stage...The daring actresses in Afghanistan love their work so much they will do anything to be on stage." - The Huffington Post

  • "...an engaging documentary highlighting the work of fearless actresses in Afghanistan. The jury believes that this film will empower audiences. It will show us that both culture and women can change the world." - Thessaloniki International Film Festival

  • "The new documentary of Anneta Papathanassiou, is a courageous record of women's lives.. [she]has perseverance and courage to make known something that is worthwhile." - Flix íV Cinema Review

  • Greek London Film Festival, Best Documentary
  • Int'l Film Awards Berlin, Honorable Mention
  • International "Gold Panda" Awards for Documentary in China, Special Jury Award

    DVD (Afghan (Dari), German, Color) / 2014 / 58 minutes

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    Directed by Cynthia Hill

    PRIVATE VIOLENCE explores a simple but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. Every day in the U.S., at least four women are murdered by abusive (and often, ex) partners. Through the eyes of two survivors-Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for the crimes committed against her at the hands of her estranged husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate who seeks justice for all women-we bear witness to the complex realities of intimate partner violence. Their experiences challenge entrenched and misleading assumptions, providing a lens into a world that is largely invisible; a world we have locked behind closed doors with our silence, our laws and our lack of understanding. PRIVATE VIOLENCE begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society: "Why does he abuse?" "Why do we turn away?" "How do we begin to build a future without domestic violence?"

  • "This potent documentary is a natural for public/educational tube slots, and should have an afterlife in classroom and organizational settings." - Variety

  • "PRVIATE VIOLENCE begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society..." - Human Rights Watch Film Festival

  • "Hill's work lingers and probes with an urgent, comprehensive call to action. PRIVATE VIOLENCE is...insistent that its troubles can be confronted head-on." - Slant Magazine

  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
  • Dallas International Film Festival, Silver Heart Award

    DVD (Color) / 2014 / 77 minutes

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    By Lori Joyce and Candice Orlando

    Narrated by Daryl Hannah

    On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural environment, and are empowering others to respect the earth. Arise presents the stories of a diverse group of 13 women in five countries who have initiated solution-oriented environmental projects in their communities, towns and villages.

    These women are engaged in a variety of innovative efforts profiled in the film: replanting trees in Kenya, conserving biodiversity in India, preserving sacred Native lands, protecting the rainforest in Ecuador, building more sustainable local communities, transforming food through urban agriculture, creating safe outdoor places to play, training women to build and install solar lights, and organizing to combat climate change, among others.

    Arise gives voice to these powerful women, and weaves together their inspiring stories with stunning images, poetry and music by well-known writers and musicians, including Alice Walker and Michael Franti.

    Through these hopeful examples and new models, the women in the film challenge our current way of thinking about the environment, and encourage a shift in values to find a different, healthier way to view our relationship to the earth.

  • Judy Nyguthi Kimamo, Green Belt Movement, Women for Change Initiative, Nyeri, Kenya
  • Maggie Fox, President and CEO, Climate Protection Action Fund, Colorado
  • Majora Carter, President, MCG Consulting, South Bronx, NY
  • Monica Chuji, Amazonian Quechua Human Rights Activist, Ecuador
  • Winona LaDuke, Executive Director, Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, White Earth Reservation, MN
  • Theo Colborn, Founder and President, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), Colorado
  • Dr. Bhatt, Co-Director, Navdanya, Dehradun, India
  • Dana Miller, Founder, Grow Local Colorado, Denver, CO
  • Vandana Shiva, Director, Navdanya and Author, Dehradun, India
  • Jessica Posner, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya
  • Bata Bhurji, Administrator, Barefoot College, Rajasthan, India
  • Aida Shibli, Palestinian Bedouin Peace Activist, Israel

  • "Thoughtful, beautiful ARISE inspired me to consider how I might contribute to the Earth's health." - Josephine Jones, Colorado Humanities

  • "Exquisite cinematography and music are enhanced by Daryl Hannah's evocative narration." - Martine Joseph, MovieSpirit

  • Winner, Spirit of Activism Award, Colorado Environmental Film Festival
  • Winner, Shift Award, FilmShift Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 79 minutes

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    By Jennifer Baumgardner

    U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling-and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker.

    IT WAS RAPE gives human faces and voices to statistics, breaking through the silence, denial and victim blaming that allow an epidemic to thrive. Eight women of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities relate personal stories of surviving sexual assault in their younger years, as well as their struggles toward healing, empowerment, and finally speaking out.

    By award-winning feminist author, filmmaker and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, this strikingly relevant documentary will engage all audiences in needed dialogue about the prevalence of sexual assaults in the U.S., at our schools and colleges, and the elements promoting rape culture on and off campus. IT WAS RAPE is a crucial resource for colleges and communities to meaningfully address Title IX issues around sexual violence.

  • "The film is especially important now, as the conversation about rape culture is more prevalent than ever. It is an important step in empowering victims." - Policy Mic

  • "IT WAS RAPE will change the way you think about this most terrible and most everyday of crimes. It's heartrending, brave, and important." - Katha Pollitt, The Nation

  • "If [IT WAS RAPE] starts a conversation, it won't be a quiet one, which is just what Ms. Baumgardner wants." - Susan Dominus, The New York Times

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 60 minutes

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    With the Iranian revolution of 1979 came the harsh imposition of Sharia law and the repression, persecution, state-sanctioned discrimination and murder of women. Over the last 30 years, the women's fight for freedom and equality led to an inner awakening. In 2003, Shirin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian citizen to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize acknowledging her courageous efforts for democracy and human rights in Iran.

    Her crowning achievement inspired Iranian women to begin what has become the most powerful movement for reform in Iran's history, the One Million Signature campaign. The bravery of these women is remarkable as they risk their lives to gain freedoms under one of the world's most repressive regimes. Lion Women chronicles the untold story of the Iranian Women's Movement and its fight for democracy and human rights.

    The fight culminated in Teheran's bloody streets in 2009 when the Lion Women were joined by hundreds of thousands protesting the controversial presidential election. For the first time, Iranian women reveal to the world their heartbreaking stories in this powerful documentary directed by filmmaker Gry Winther, who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Lion Women in Teheran amid the brutality and violence.

    DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 52 minutes

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    By Deborah Gee and Elaine H. Kim

    SLAYING THE DRAGON is a comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women since the silent era. From the racist use of white actors to portray Asians in early Hollywood films, through the success of Anna May Wong's sinister dragon lady, to Suzie Wong and the '50s geisha girls, to the Asian-American anchorwoman of today, this fascinating videotape shows how stereotypes of exoticism and docility have affected the perception of Asian-American women. Produced by Asian Women United, this invaluable resource has been widely used by universities and libraries.

    SLAYING THE DRAGON: RELOADED is a 30-minute sequel to SLAYING THE DRAGON. RELOADED looks at the past 25 years of representation of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media - from blockbuster films and network television to Asian American cinema and YouTube - to explore what's changed, what's been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future.

  • "Slaying the Dragon shows how racism and the shifting winds of history have inhibited realistic portrayals of Asian women." - John Carman, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "Intelligent, moving." - New Directions for Women

  • "This compelling film is an invaluable resource for the classroom and beyond." - Jodi Kim, Professor Ethnic Studies, University of California at Riverside

  • Asian Pacific Arts Association, Jimmie Award
  • American Film and Video Festival, Finalist

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 88 minutes

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    Blind musician, Sorie Kondi, from Sierra Leone looks at what's happening with girls' education in his country 10 years after civil war.

    Musician Sorie Kondi, blind from birth, has been called Sierra Leone's Stevie Wonder, but he's still trying to make it as a world musician. Sorie worries about the future of his 14-year-old daughter, Zeinab. He manages to make enough as a busker to pay for her education, but keeping Zeinab out of trouble is more difficult. She lives with her cousins, who have all had to leave school early because of pregnancy. Life asked Sorie to help us make a road movie looking at what's happening with girls' education around the country 10 years after civil war.

  • "There is a continuous challenge of trying to strike a balance in the film[s]...[The films] can be used successfully in stimulating a discussion amongst the youth about the negative aspects of such a life as well as an exploration of alternatives." - Teboho Moja, Clinical Professor of Higher Education, New York University

    DVD / 2010 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adults) / 27 minutes

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    By Michealene Cristini Risley

    Tapestries of Hope is a powerful film that exposes the ongoing rape of young women in Zimbabwe by men infected with AIDS, and profiles an organization working to protect and empower abused young girls in the country.

    It is a common myth promoted by traditional healers in Zimbabwe that a man infected with HIV/AIDS can cure himself by having sex with a virgin. Some victims are very young íV even baby girls. Director Michealene Cristini Risley traveled to Zimbabwe to explore the rape and AIDS crisis in the country, to uncover its impact on young girls, and to highlight the work of The Girl Child Network (GCN).

    Founded by Zimbabwean human rights activist and child abuse survivor Betty Makoni, GCN rescues and helps heal abused girls. Part of the healing process is speaking out about the crimes committed against them, not an easy task in a country that ostracizes these young female victims. The documentary interweaves the girls' heart-breaking stories with the true confession of a dying man who raped young women believing it would cure his AIDS.

    During filming, Risley and her assistant were arrested and deported by Zimbabwean authorities. Their footage was seized by the Zimbabwean Intelligence Office (C.I.O), though the team managed to later retrieve the footage.

    Tapestries of Hope is a portrait of hope and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, and a vibrant call to action to stop the rape and abuse of women in Zimbabwe, and wherever it may occur around the globe.

  • "The footage Risley captured íV particularly interviews with rape survivors and admitted rapists alike íV is an incredibly compelling 77 minutes. The most striking element of the documentary is not the hell that the young rape survivors profiled have lived through, but their unbreakable spirit. The film is a vibrant international call to action and a breathtaking portrait of hope in the face of overwhelming odds. " - Jessica Mosby, TheWIP.net

  • Best Documentary, Women in Film & Television
  • Best Director, Women in Film & Television
  • Aloha Accolade Award, Honolulu Int'l Film Festival
  • Award of Merit, Accolade Film Awards
  • Best Documentary, Louisville Int'l Festival of Film
  • Award of Excellence, The Indie Fest

    DVD / 2010 / (Grades 11-Adult) / 77 minutes

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    Looks at the obstacles facing working mothers and families and the employer and public policy changes needed to restore work-life balance.

    Did you know that...

    Only four countries in the world- Lesotho, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the United States-fail to provide paid maternity leave to all workers? Canada now guarantees a full year of paid parental leave and California recently became the first state in the U.S. to provide such paid leave? Businesses that create flexible work environments find that productivity goes up, they attract more talent, turnover is reduced and their bottom line is improved?

    Moving personal stories combined with humorous animation, expert commentary and hilarious old film clips tell the tale of what happens to working mothers and their families in America. See how enlightened employers and public policy can make paid family leave, flexible working hours, part-time parity, universal healthcare, excellent childcare, after-school programs and realistic living wages a reality for American families.

    The film is based on the book The Motherhood Manifesto by Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe- Finkbeiner.

  • "It is very difficult to fit work and family issues into any kind of television or movie format, but The Motherhood Manifesto does it, and does it well. The stories range from heartbreaking to angry to enormously insightful, broken up by wonderful cartoon sketches, old clips from TV and movies, and interviews with leading experts. I'll be using it in class this fall. This is a great work and a movie that everyone should see!" - Dr. Robert Drago, Penn State University

  • "The Motherhood Manifesto is a funny, fascinating, informative, and finally, infuriating, film about motherhood in America. At the end of this one, you'll want to jump out of your seat, rush out the door, and start demanding change immediately!" - Ann Crittenden, author, The Price of Motherhood

  • "The Motherhood Manifesto is a sharp, funny, wry tale about some very unfunny social issues that mothers grapple with daily. If you have a mother, are a mother or know a mother, see this film." - Brita Butler- Wall, Ph.D., Seattle School Board

  • "Watch out. Apple pie is next. Motherhood has never been more disrespected in our nation than now. Seeing this excellent film, I was shocked to learn of mothers' struggles to earn a living wage and have time enough to love their children-who are, in fact, our nation's future. What a chilling commentary on how far we've come from our ideals when we can leave mothers out in the cold. Fortunately, The Motherhood Manifesto provides us with a path back to decency." - Vicki Robin, author, Your Money or Your Life

  • "If you think motherhood is sacred in the United States, then think again. This humorous and often bitingly cynical film exposes the myriad impediments that willfully deny aid, comfort and security to mothers (and, by extension, their precious little charges!) in contemporary American society. As one watches this film, one cannot help but wonder why the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation would treat mothers so deplorably. More importantly, this film begs viewers to wonder how this sorry state of affairs can be rectified." - Timothy McGettigan, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Colorado State University- Pueblo

  • "The Motherhood Manifesto mingles searing contemporary interviews, vintage clips from television's Golden Era, depressing labor and industry statistics, and satirical cartoon parody to draw viewers into the world of mothers seeking additional employment...The documentary's focus -- a lack of access to job opportunity and pay equity for women with children -- remains a sad commentary on U.S. priorities. Appropriate for audiences from middle schools through AARP members, The Motherhood Manifesto invites its viewers to question why a world economic power holds its women and children in such low esteem." - Elaine W. Reed, Director, Women's Center & Women's Studies, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • "Motherhood Manifesto tells the stories that reveal the second class status of mothers in the U.S., and by extension, their children. The film demonstrates how workplace policies can benefit mothers and increase workplace efficiency and productivity. Viewers who are mothers will have their hardships affirmed, and legislators, policymakers, and employers will learn strategies to make our economy stronger with simple steps toward more flexibility in the workplace. An insightful analysis of the sexual politics of labor for students of gender and labor history and for decision makers in the workplace." - Jill Eichhorn, Associate Professor of Women's Studies/English, Coordinator of Women's Studies Program, Austin Peay State University

  • "An important documentary that captures some of the most pressing social issues of the 21st century...The film clearly illustrates how negligent the U.S. has been in taking care of its families and children, and how little it would cost to provide the level of support that is offered to families in other industrialized countries...Engaging and informative." - Jeanne Hilton, Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Nevada

  • "Finally-a pro-families film that does not romanticize motherhood! The Motherhood Manifesto presents the sad facts about women's experiences, as mothers, with employment discrimination, childcare availability, sick leave policies, and health insurance coverage. Always engaging and sometimes humorous, it is a powerful college classroom teaching tool to engage students in re-examining their notions about 'family values' in U.S. policy. I will be using The Motherhood Manifesto in my family studies courses." - Anita Itla Garey, Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies, University of Connecticut, and Author of "Weaving Work and Motherhood"

  • "The Motherhood Manifesto is an insightful, engaging, and timely film which gives voice to concerns felt by millions of American parents, advocates, service providers, social scientists and others interested in the well-being of children and families...Using tongue-in-cheek humor, illustrative personal stories, as well as thoughtful commentary from advocates, scientists, policymakers, employees and even employers, The Motherhood Manifesto persuasively makes the case that the time has come for the United States to 'catch up' with much of the rest of the world in terms of supporting and investing in working families." - Danielle A. Crosby, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina- Greensboro

  • "Effectively points out the curious hypocrisy of American politicians who brag about 'family values'-holding up stay-at-home motherhood as best for children-yet refuse to put pressure on businesses to offer paid leave or allow federal tax breaks for the working spouse. Recommended." - Video Librarian

  • CINE Golden Eagle
  • Berks Movie Madness Film Festival, Reading, PA
  • Artivist Film Festival
  • Everett Women's Film Festival

    DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With Guide) / 2006 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 58 minutes

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    An exploration of the history and politics of breast obsession in America, and its connection with breast cancer, breastfeeding and body image.

    BUSTING OUT is a disarmingly honest and intimate exploration of our society's fascination with women's breasts. Directors Strickwerda and Spellman Smith unflinchingly examine the good, the bad and the ugly sides of this American icon, delving into the history and politics of breast obsession in the US. From breast-crazy men shouting "Flash those racks!" to the fears of breast cancer and the disparate attitudes of cultures worldwide, the directors leave no stone unturned in their quest to demystify the American breast.

    BUSTING OUT combines personal story-telling with devastating analysis, sad case histories with humor, and frank talk of sexual subjects with the sweet innocence of a young girl shopping for her first bra.

    Told from the point of view of Strickwerda who lost her mother to breast cancer as a child, BUSTING OUT will challenge both women and men to question our obsession with breasts, and to gain a healthier perspective.

  • "I love Busting Out! [It] is a riveting documentary that exposes all the contradictions women face as they navigate their relationships with their bodies. The filmmakers capture multi-generational and multi-cultural perspectives among women as they face a culture that over-sexualizes their breasts. The film encourages women to define for themselves their relationship with their breasts. I plan to use the film as part of an inquiry of body image and the politics of women's health." - Jill Eichhorn, Assoc. Prof. Of English and Women's Studies, Austin Peay State University

  • "BUSTING OUT wittily, poignantly balances the political and the personal." - The Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN

  • "[An] informative, entertaining and, at times, touching look at what it means to have breasts in a culture that values them as sex objects above all else....Although the subject is fem-centric, the film is intended for men as well. Topics like fatherhood (how men react when their little girls hit puberty) and what they go through when their partners have breast cancer are handled with clarity." - The Seattle Post- Intelligencer

  • "Delves into the American obsession with breasts through a mix of cheeky humor, historical detail and striking intimacy...Busting Out will strike a poignant and personal chord with women because many of Strickwerda's experiences, and those described throughout the film, are universal. And yet the work is also successful because it resonates with men as well. Ultimately the doc is a celebration of womanhood from a distinctly 21st-century perspective." - City Pages, Minneapolis

  • "Entertaining and thoughtful...it touches on a number of topics on the general subject of breasts...with wit and candor." - The Seattle Times

  • "What is it about breasts that we find so titillating? Francine Strickwerda, who lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of six, tries to find the answer. We learn that it is a largely Western phenomena that began during the and spread with the introduction of formula in the 19th century-today less than 60% of women nurse their children. And as women strive for the perfect bra to lift and separate, or undergo breast reductions, or augmentation, breasts have become both big business and a major source of anxiety. More troubling is the shocking toll of breast cancer: in the US, more women have died from it in 20 years than all American servicemen in all the major wars of the 20th century combined. Busting Out is enlightening, informative, humorous and moving. Everyone who owns a pair should see it." - Ursic, GioChannel.com

  • "In an intimate documentary exploring the female breast through prepubescent development, breast feeding, cancer, and burlesque performances, Busting Out is layered with vignettes and personal stories of the maker and her struggle to make peace with a part of her she regarded as a death sentence." - Women in the Director's Chair Film Festival Program

  • ALA Notable Videos for Adults 2006
  • CINE Golden Eagle
  • Honorable Mention, Chicago International Television Awards
  • Seattle International Film Festival
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival
  • Women in the Director's Chair International Film Festival
  • Everett Women's Film Festival
  • Central Standard Film Festival
  • Western Psychological Association Film Festival
  • American Psychological Association Convention
  • United Nations Association Film Festival

    DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2004 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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    Turkey's ambitious campaign to reduce poverty includes convincing reluctant parents to send their daughters to school.

    At the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Turkey is a country with a large, young population. But literacy rates have traditionally lagged behind neighboring Greece and Bulgaria. With its sights firmly set on future EU membership, Turkey has identified education as key to reducing poverty. So Turkey has embarked on an ambitious campaign, targeting those most deprived of education-young teenage girls-especially from the poor rural areas. Life visits Turkey's eastern Province of Van and meets 13-year-old Yaprak, just one of the many targeted by this massive education drive. She, for one, is sure of the benefits. "I want to study until the end. I want to finish university. I want to have a job."

    DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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    Education and community-driven development combat poverty in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

    Shilmundi is a village in the vast Delta in the south of Bangladesh. The children here attend a local school, and come together to study after hours, a sign of their enthusiasm for learning. But the real question is how long they'll be able to continue. This program looks at two very different approaches to improving the lives of poor people -- one through education, as in the Shilmundi project in Bangladesh, the other through what's known as "community-driven development" in Indonesia.

    Life asks whether projects like these can be replicated in other countries trying to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015.

    DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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    By Lisa Ades

    racking the country's oldest beauty contest-from its inception in 1921 as a local seaside pageant to its heyday as one of the country's most popular events-MISS AMERICA paints a vivid picture of an institution that has come to reveal much about a changing nation. The pageant is about commercialism and sexual politics, about big business and small towns. But beyond the symbolism lies a human story-at once moving, inspiring, infuriating, funny, and poignant.

    Combining rare archival footage, with a host of intimate interviews with distinguished commentators including Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, former contestants and behindíVtheíVscenes footage and photographs, the film reveals why some women took part in the fledgling event and why others briefly rejected it - how the pageant became a battle ground and a barometer for the changing position of women in society.

  • "American Experience' takes the crown with producer Lisa Ades' masterful 'Miss America'... Brilliantly anecdotal and pungently opinionated." - TV Guide

  • "Superb...effortlessly mines perspective, poignancy and cultural significance for an exercise that has embodied the essence of kitsch and tacky..." - The Hollywood Reporter

  • "... this critical but balanced American Experience documentary acknowledges the pageant's status as a national institution." - People Magazine

    DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2002 / 96 minutes

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    Kate Douglas Wiggin (author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm) argues against votes for women; Progressive and suffrage writer, speaker, and leader Belle Case La Follette testifies in favor.

  • "A lead-in to the study of the Constitutional amendment process" - Library Journal.

  • "A study in points of view; an excellent teaching tool." - Museumedia.

  • "An interesting dramatization of one of the key issues in our nation's development; recommended." - Video Librarian.

  • "Excellent resource guide" - Journal of American History. Write Women Back into History Award, National Women's History Project.

    DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 17 minutes

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