DVD of the Block:
Block 6 2020: A Room of One's Own
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." So spoke Virginia Woolf in 1929 as she discussed the problems of the writer and of women in general. Woolf's talk represents perhaps the most persuasive of all her writings on liberty, literature, and the role of women in her society. Woolf spoke not only about writing, but about writing as a woman--speaking in an age when women were deprived of virtually every possibility of earning their own living. In this program, the actress Eileen Atkins re-creates her acclaimed one-woman stage show based on Woolf's talk, in the original lecture hall at Girton College, Cambridge, with its distinguished colleges and elegant riverbanks that were the original inspiration for Woolf's noble and exhilarating talk.
Block 5 2020: Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights
Where do black women activists fit into the epochal struggles for equality and liberation during the 1960s and '70s? This feature-length documentary unearths the story of black women's political marginalization--between the male-dominated Black Power movement and second wave feminism, which was largely white and middle class--showing how each failed to recognize black women's overlapping racial and gender identities. Prominently featured activists include Frances Beale, Angela Davis, Kola Boof, Nikki Giovanni, Rosemari Mealy, Judy Richardson, Gwendolyn Simmons, Deborah Singletary, and Eugenia Wiltshire.
Half Block 2020: The Color of Paradise
Academy Award-nominee Majid Majidi explores the world of a gifted blind boy at the mercy of his father's crippling sense of shame in The Color of Paradise.
Mohammad joyfully returns to his tiny village on summer vacation from the Institute for the Blind, unaware of his widowed father's intentions to disown him in order to win the hand--and dowry--of a local woman. With the wedding swiftly approaching, Mohammad's future hangs precariously in the balance as his father struggles against his destiny, unable to see the wonder of life and love that's so clear to his son.
Block 4, 2019: Free CeCe!
On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrisaun Reed "CeCe" McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men's prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress Laverne Cox. Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CeCe! and committed to exploring the role race, class and gender played in CeCe's case. In the end, CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader.
Documentarian Jac Gares pushed past the every day narratives of victim-hood surrounding the lives of transgender people to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere. CeCe's powerful story highlights the groundswell of voices questioning the prison industrial complex and calling for its disassembly.
Block 3, 2019: Mankiller
This is a story of an American hero and legend, one who stands tall amidst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr.--and yet few people know her name. Wilma Mankiller is someone who humbly defied the odds to fight injustice and give a voice to the voiceless. She overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nations first female Principal Chief in 1985. Mankiller examines the legacy of the formidable Wilma Mankiller and reunites the documentary team of Gale Anne Hurd and Valerie Red-Horse Mohl for their third and most powerful film.
Block 2, 2019: FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement
From bionic limbs and neural implants to prenatal screening, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body. FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement takes a close look at the drive to be "better than human" and the radical technological innovations that may take us there. Through a dynamic mix of verite, dance, archival and interview footage, FIXED challenges notions of normal, the body and what it means fundamentally to be human in the 21st century.
September 2019: Dolores
Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century--and she continues to fight to this day at 87.
August 2019: Inside the Chinese Closet
Inside the Chinese Closet is the intricate tale of Andy and Cherry looking for love and happiness in Shanghai. They are homosexual but their families demand a heterosexual marriage from them and a baby. Being single and childless would mean an unacceptable loss of face for their rural families in the remote countryside where they live. Will Andy and Cherry deny their happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parent's wishes? Their stories mirror the legal and cultural progress that is happening in China against a backdrop of a nation coming to terms with new moral values.
July 2019: Indian Relay
The hope and determination of modern-day Indian life is revealed in this film about what it takes to win one of the most exciting and perilous forms of horse racing practiced anywhere in the world today. Featuring remarkable high-speed cinematography, Indian Relay follows three teams as they prepare for and compete in a grueling Indian Relay season, all hearts set on the glory and honor of winning an Indian Relay National Championship.
June 2019: Close Knit
Tomo is an 11 year-old girl. One day, her mother leaves her with her uncle and his pretty girlfriend Rinko. Rinko is kind and caring, but the other mothers do not seem to like her. Tomo finds it hard to understand because Rinko takes care of her in the best possible way. She even teaches Tomo to knit in order to channel her anger. However, life as a transgender family is not easy when ignorance and discrimination are everywhere.
May 2019: White Right: Meeting With The Enemy
Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan meets U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists including Richard Spencer face to face and attends the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S.
April 2019: I Am Not Your Negro
Master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
March 2019: The Revival: Women and the Word
The Revival: Women and the Word chronicles the tour of the U.S. of a group of Black lesbian poets and musicians, who become present day stewards of a historical movement to build community among queer women of color. The journey to strengthen their community is enriched by insightful interviews with leading Black feminist thinkers and historians, including Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Nikki Finney, and Alexis Deveaux. As the group tours the country, the film reveals their aspirations and triumphs, as well as the unique identity challenges they face encompassing gender, race and sexuality. This is a rarely seen look into a special sisterhood--one where marginalized voices are both heard and respected.
February 2019: Black Girl in Suburbia
For many Black girls raised in the suburbs, the experiences of going to school, playing on the playground, and living day-to-day life can be uniquely alienating. Black Girl in Suburbia looks at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Filmmaker Melissa Lowery shares her own childhood memories of navigating racial expectations both subtle and overt--including questions like, "Hey, I just saw a Black guy walking down the street; is that your cousin?" Through conversations with her own daughters, with teachers and scholars who are experts in the personal impacts of growing up a person of color in a predominately white place, this film explores the conflicts that many black girls in homogeneous hometowns have in relating to both white and Black communities.
January 2019: Breaking Silence
Three Muslim women share their stories of sexual assault and in a deeply personal way, they challenge the stigma that has long suppressed the voice of survivors. Through out America, many Muslim communities persist in stigmatizing all discussion of sex-related subjects. Even though sexual assault and abuse are widespread, conversations about it are rare and the pressure for victims and their families to "keep it a secret" helps perpetuate abuse. Breaking Silence takes a radical and humanizing approach to the emotional scars of sexual assault, giving women the space to share their voices without shame.
December 2018: A Fantastic Woman
PN1995.9.F67 M85 2018
Marina works as a waitress and moonlights as a nightclub singer. When her older boyfriend dies suddenly, instead of being able to mourn her lover, Marina is treated unkindly and with suspicion. Marina, as a trans woman, is seen as a perversion by most of Orlando's family. Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now - a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.
November: Ohero:kon - Under the Husk
E99.M8 O44 2018
A documentary that follows the challenging journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S./Canada border. They both take part in a four-year adolescent passage rites ceremony called ohero:kon "under the husk" that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become.
October: Don't Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie)
JV7048 .D66 2015
This documentary about Angy Rovera won a 2015 Peabody Award. Angy Rivera lived for 20 years in the USA as an undocumented person at the start of this film. The film follows her path as she becomes an activist for immigrants when she began writing a popular advice column called "Ask Angy”. It also shows her proceeding through the process of obtaining a UVisa, a visa for "victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity".
September: Showing Roots
PN1997.2 .S47 2017
Two women, played by Uzo Aduba and Maggie Grace, look to integrate the 'right' and 'wrong' sides of the tracks of their small southern town. Set in 1977, these young women - one white, one black - forge an unlikely friendship that sparks a journey of independence and self-discovery that ultimately results in the discovery of the perfect hairdo.
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