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Women Studies

Women Studies


Leading Women out of Personal and Spiritual Brokenness & helping to Transform Lives through Faith in God. Women who have committed serious crimes are not beyond the help of God and the compassionate people who minister to them. But what about their children? Is there hope? Can lives be changed? This program focuses on the ministries role of leading women out of personal and spiritual brokenness by telling them about God's love and His ability to transform their lives and help bring about change. As they recognize the poor choices they have made and the consequences of those choices, they begin to see hope, want to lead better lives and recognize and accept the word of God.

DVD / 2013 / (Adult) / 30 minutes

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For most women, childbirth is a deeply spiritual experience. It is often a time for women to grow closer to God. The significance of a Higher Power during childbirth can be a spiritually transforming experience. But what does it mean to be a mother in todays world? The ageless creation and cycle of life - has it changed? In this program we explore the deep spiritual experience of childbirth and parenting while discovering the empowerment of God's presence. This is the inspirational story of what it means to be a mother, the emotional and physiological transitions of pregnancy and childbirth and how some women approach this wonderful and life-altering time.

DVD / 2013 / (Adult) / 30 minutes

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Women have broken through the "glass ceiling" and overcome discrimination to get where they are today. But the pressures to succeed, to please employees and customers and to meet the needs of family all vie for attention in the world of top executives. How do women leaders cope with these stresses? How does faith help them to focus beyond personal success toward spiritual significance? In this program female executives whove fought their way to the top in the male populated business world, share their experiences and how they incorporate their faith as part of their lives at home and at work.

DVD / 2013 / (Adult) / 30 minutes

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By Marlo Poras

A tale of two sisters living in the shadow of two Chinas, this documentary by award-winning filmmaker Marlo Poras (Mai's America; Run Grany Run) follows Juma and Latso, young women from one of the world's last remaining matriarchal societies. Thrust into the worldwide economic downturn after losing jobs in Beijing and left with few options, they return to their remote Himalayan village. But growing exposure to modernity has irreparably altered traditions of the Mosuo, their tiny ethnic miniority, and home is not the same. Determined to keep their family out of poverty, one sister sacrifices her educational dreams and stays home to farm, while the other leaves, trying her luck in the city. The changes test them in unexpected ways. This visually stunning film highlights today's realities of women's lives and China's vast cultural and economic divides while offering rare views of a surviving matriarchy.

  • "A well-shot, confidently crafted feature with the firm narrative drive of an old-fashioned novel, one that pulls its leading figures' fates at the fore . . . " - Dennis Harvey, Variety

  • "A quietly stunning portrait of modern China." - Boston Globe

  • "Does what good documentaries should: provide insight into the unseen." - Loren King, Rocky Mountain Outlook

    DVD (Mandarin/Mosuo/Tibetan, Color) / 2013 / 80 minutes

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    By Karima Zoubir

    Working as a videographer at weddings in Casablanca, Khadija Harrad is part of the new generation of young, divorced Moroccan women seeking to realize their desires for freedom and independence while honoring their families' wishes. Mother of an 11-year-old son and primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings as well, she navigates daily between the elaborate fantasy world of the parties she films and harassment from her traditionally conservative family, which disapproves of her occupation and wants her only to remarry. CAMERA/WOMAN, shot in verite style, follows Khadija on the job, at home, and with supportive women friends who are divorced and share similar experiences. As it unveils the issues that confront working-class Muslim women in societies now undergoing profound change, this arresting film reveals that for Khadija, unbowed in the face of overwhelming odds, the camera becomes a liberating force.

  • "Moving and amazing....Camera/Woman is shot in a strikingly intimate style...These are women desperate to provide for their families whose brains cannot collude in the fiction that they can't do anything, just because they're women." - Nisha Lilia Diu, The Telegraph, UK

  • "It is a world of great beauty and sweet dreams in the videos that Khadija's films, but in reality the weddings are an expression of the struggles women face in contemporary Morocco to combat exclusion and oppression and somehow move beyond them." - Brit Doc

  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), WorldView Award

    DVD (Arabic, Color) / 2012 / 59 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 Barbara Miller

    Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sanchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk.

    This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sanchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.

  • "An incredible moving story of three women bloggers fighting to keep telling the truth. As First Lady Michelle Obama says: "Courage can actually be contagious." - Melissa Silverstein, Indiewire.com

  • "Tell the truth in a country where there is no freedom of expression? These women use the new media as a weapon against censorship." - Kristen Rammus, Estonian Human Rights Centre

  • "The documentary shows beautifully deep sorrow of exile." - livinginnyon.com

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 96 minutes

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    By Ann Fessler

    From 1945-73, 1.5 million unmarried young American women, facing enormous social pressures, surrendered babies to adoption. Lacking sex education and easy access to birth control, they were forced into hiding while pregnant and then into "abandoning" their infants. In her latest film, Ann Fessler, Professor of Photography at Rhode Island School of Design, reprises the subject of her award-winning The Girls Who Went Away (National Book Critics Circle; Ballard Book Prize), which Ms. readers named an all-time best feminist book.

    Drawing on interviews with 100 women, Fessler lets them have their say and brings hidden history to light. We hear only their voices, which detail wrenching experiences against images from vintage newsreel and educational films reinforcing stereotypes of women's roles following WWII. This gripping documentary will help today's students grasp what life was like before the sexual and feminist revolutions had fully dawned.

  • "A compelling glimpse into an era in which voiceless young women had no rights, rarely saw or held their newborns and were threatened with psychiatric commitment if they questioned the mandate to relinquish a child." - Silverdocs Film Festival

  • "Heart-wrenching,..precise, daunting, and also allusive, this story recalls those bad old days when ignorance, silence, and repression were the preferred social strategies." - Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

  • "A Girl Like Her packs an emotional wallop greater than most other films released this year, documentary or fiction." - Dan Schindel, Otste

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 48 minutes

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    By Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon

    The Killing Fields in Cambodia became known to the world but little is known about the struggles of the women left behind. From 1975-79, Pol Pot's campaign to increase the population forced at least 250,000 young Cambodian women to marry Khmer Rouge soldiers they had never met before. Sochan Pen was one of them. At 16, she was beaten and raped by her husband before managing to escape, though deeply scarred by her experience. After 30 years of silence, Sochan is ready to file a complaint with the international tribunal that will try former Khmer leaders. With quiet dignity, she starts demanding answers from those who carried out the regime's orders.

    To tell a story little known outside Cambodia, Cambodian Lida Chan and French-Cambodian Guillaume Suon include Khmer Rouge era footage underscoring war's traumatic legacy for Sochan's generation of women. Awarded two prizes at Amsterdam's prestigious International Documentary Film Festival, RED WEDDING demonstrates the liberating power of speech and memory in the quest for justice.

  • "Subtly and poetically illuminates the absolute necessity of a country to shine the light on the truth about its own history." - Geneva Human Rights Film Festival

  • "The story of a survivor who pits humanity against an ideology and a system designed to annihilate people like her." - Foundation Alter Cine

  • "Combines all the elements of a great documentary: a powerful historical episode, retold from an unexpected angle, and a first-rate photography." - International Documentary Festival Amsterdam Jury

  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), NTF IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary

    DVD (Cambodian, Color) / 2012 / 58 minutes

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    By Marcia Rock and Patricia Lee Stotter

    Women make up 15 percent of today's military. That number is expected to double in 10 years. SERVICE highlights the resourcefulness of seven amazing women who represent the first wave of mothers, daughters and sisters returning home from the frontless wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Portraying the courage of women veterans as they transition from active duty to their civilian lives, this powerful film describes the horrific traumas they have faced, the inadequate care they often receive on return, and the large and small accomplishments they work mightily to achieve.

    These are the stories we hear about from men returning from war, but rarely from women veterans. Through compelling portraits, we watch these women wrestle with prostheses, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. The documentary takes the audience on a journey from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq to rural Tennessee and urban New York City, from coping with amputations, to flashbacks, triggers and depression to ways to support other vets. An eye-opening look at the specific challenges facing women veterans with a special focus on the disabled, SERVICE can be used for courses in military studies, women's studies, peace and conflict courses and veteran support groups.

  • "This work is a delicately balanced portrayal of our women warriors' battles and victories over insurmountable odds...a must see!" - Lourdes Alvarado-Ramos, Director, Washington State Dept. of Veteran Affairs

  • "Without doubt, the most powerful film I've seen about women veterans. It tears you to pieces to watch it and restores your soul . . . All at the same time. It's a documentary about hope. It's the best film you haven't seen yet. Tell everyone you know about it." - Wendi Goodman, 18-year Army veteran, author of One Weary Soldier blog

  • "The film stuns. These women veterans show extraordinary character and resolve as they deal with unforgiving injuries, and a culture dull with ignorance. Hawk or dove, we need to understand and appreciate this special group." - Associate English Professor Nancy Nevins, Pierce and Glendale Colleges, CA

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 55 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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    By S. Casper Wong

    Unlike anyone you've ever met, LuLu is a hard-living, chain-smoking rebel with a tender heart; poet with a potty mouth; farm girl; former cheerleader; world-class biochemistry pioneer; and beloved professor. Aka Dr. Louise Nutter, she has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when, at 42, she learns she has terminal breast cancer. Reminiscent of Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin's SILVERLAKE LIFE, THE LULU SESSIONS, via video diary, records the journey S. Casper Wong shared with her former teacher, best friend, and on-again-off-again lover over the last 15 months before LuLu died. Her compelling film chronicles how the two women test the limits of their bond and take on life's ultimate adventure, shedding old presumptions and values while adopting new ones in the process. Reflective, intensely honest, and surprisingly humorous, this unforgettable documentary makes life's last journey accessible in ways rarely seen before on screen.

  • "The pains, unexpected humor and self reflection expressed by those who experience breast cancer (loved ones as well as patients) are recorded with raw immediacy. " - Variety

  • "At its core . . . Is a completely unconventional love story-an intimate and deeply personal portrait of two people confronting a terminal illness with honesty, laughter and love." - Queer Doc

  • Reeling 30 - Chicago Lesbian & Gay Intl Film Fest, Audience Award for Best Documentary
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival, Special Jury Award
  • DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Best Documentary Award

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 86 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 Ulrike Ottinger

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

  • "Ottinger's world can hardly be confused with humdrum reality. Watching her films is like traveling through an undiscovered country of marvels." - Leslie Camhi Leslie Camhi, The Village Voice

  • "Maintains a gaze that demonstrates wonderment and fundamental sympathy for her surroundings." - Jerusalem Film Festival

  • "Visually and musically evocative . . . A film for all who wish to take a journey to a mysterious and slow world." - Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Asia-Pacific Weeks

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 103 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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    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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    By Marcela Zamora Chamorro

    MARIA IN NOBODY'S LAND is an unprecedented and intimate look at the illegal and extremely dangerous journey of three Salvadoran women to the US. Dona Ines, a 60 year old woman, has been looking for her daughter for five years and is following the same route her daughter took. Marta and Sandra, tired of the violence from their husbands and wanting to overcome poverty, decide to leave their families behind to travel to America - with only thirty dollars in their pockets. During their harrowing journey, the three women encounter prostitution, slave trade, rape, kidnapping and even death, in an unwavering quest for a better life.

    In making this documentary, a team of six journalists and filmographers rode with migrants on the tops of trains and slept in migrant shelters. As the immigration debate continues to be a hot button issue, this film, which helps to bring understanding to these urgent issues, is essential for courses on human rights, Latin American studies, Chicano studies, immigration, labor, international studies and women's studies, as well as for public libraries and interested community groups.

  • "An impressive documentary that shows how the gangs the police and even the local government collaborate to take any advantage from the migrant's situation. And it suggests that Mexican and Central American governments also have interests to leave the situation unchanged." - Latino Barrio

  • "These heart-wrenching stories shed light on the thousands of kidnappings, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and torture suffered by migrants who travel across Mexico each year with the hopes of reaching a brighter future in the United States." - UCLA International Institute

    DVD (Spanish, Color) / 2010 / 86 minutes

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    By Beth Freeman

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

  • "Sisters in Arms probes with delicate restraint as it shows us women as mothers and life-givers, as well as women as lethal weapons." - Katherine Monk, CanWest News

  • "An important body of work that candidly captures what many have known but were hesitant to admit; Women are fully capable of serving in any and all capacities in our military." - COL (Ret) Mary A. Baker, U.S. Military

  • "First to probe deep into Canadian female combat veterans' experience." - Alistair McDonald, The Wall Street Journal

  • Film North - Huntsville Intl Film Festival, Best Documentary

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 48 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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    By Ulrike Ottinger

    Ulrike Ottinger's provocative melange of ethnography, stunning tableaux and baroque vignettes was inspired by what she calls the "well-stocked miracle" of Korean wedding chests, assembled according to time-honored customs. This exploration of love and marriage in South Korea looks closely at ancient and present-day rituals, revealing what is old in the new and new in the old. Her inquiry leads us from shamans, temples and priests, to the enchanted maze of 21st-century Seoul, where vendors of medicinal herbs co-exist with high-tech beauty salons for wedding couples and secular marriage palaces. Using film much like a canvas, Ottinger creates a modern fairytale flush with mythological heroes, traditional rites, ancestral symbolism, dreams of eternal love, and a whole lot of Western kitsch. One of her most acclaimed documentaries, it captures the amazing phenomenon of new mega-cities and their contradictory societies caught in a balancing act.

  • "Ulrike Ottinger in top artistic form. . . . A film that echoes the beauty, precision and care of the rituals she examines." - Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

  • "A visually striking film... Ottinger's fascinating documentary portrait of wedding customs in contemporary Seoul carefully locates the contemporary wedding industry at the very heart of the intersection of tradition and modernity in Korean culture." - Harvard Film Archives

  • "Near the beginning . . . We are treated to an explanation by a wedding chest maker of exactly what the chest contains, as she lovingly packs and unpacks it before our amazed eyes. It's exactly the method of Ottinger's delicately observed film." - Hollywood Reporter

    DVD (Korean, Color) / 2008 / 82 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 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. Sports media scholars Mary Jo Kane, Pat Griffin, and Michael Messner examine the disparity between the success of female athletes and sports 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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    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 participants' 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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