FILM LIBRARY: GENDER

After Tiller
by Martha Shane & Lana Wilson

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Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's After Tiller is a deeply humanizing and probing portrait of the only four doctors in the United States still openly performing third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas—and in the face of intense protest from abortion opponents. It is also an examination of the desperate reasons women seek late abortions. Rather than offering solutions, After Tiller presents the complexities of these women's difficult decisions and the compassion and ethical dilemmas of the doctors and staff who fear for their own lives as they treat their patients. An Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.


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American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
by Grace Lee

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Grace Lee Boggs, 98, is a Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature, 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival


Private schools and universities must purchase American Revolutionary through Good Docs.

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Bronx Princess
by Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed

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Rocky Otoo is the Bronx-bred teenage daughter of Ghanaian parents, and she's no pushover. She is a sassy high-achiever bound for college. With freedom in sight, Rocky rebels against her mother's rules. When their relationship reaches a breaking point, Rocky flees to her father, a chief in Ghana. What follows is captured in Bronx Princess, a tumultuous coming-of-age story set in a homeland both familiar and strange. Her precocious — and very American — ideas of a successful, independent life conflict with her father's traditional African values. Reconciling her dual legacies becomes an unexpected chapter in this unforgettable young woman's education. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

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Ella Es El Matador (She is the Matador)
by Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco

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For Spaniards — and for the world — nothing has expressed their country's traditionally rigid gender roles more powerfully than the image of the male matador. So sacred was the bullfighter's masculinity to Spanish identity that a 1908 law barred women from the sport. Ella Es el Matador reveals the surprising history of the women who made such a law necessary and offers fascinating profiles of two female matadors currently in the arena: the acclaimed Mari Paz Vega and neophyte Eva Florencia. These women are gender pioneers by necessity. But what emerges as their truest motivation is their sheer passion — for bullfighting and the pursuit of a dream. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB).

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Girl Model
by A. Sabin and David Redmon

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Girl Model strips away the façade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect because of it. Ashley is a deeply conflicted American model scout, and 13-year-old Nadya, plucked from a remote Siberian village and promised a lucrative career in Japan, is her latest discovery. As the young girl searches for glamour and an escape from poverty, she confronts the harsh realities of a culture that worships youth — and an industry that makes perpetual childhood a globally traded commodity. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Winner, 2011 POV | Alpha Cine Award. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV. (90 minutes)

This film is not available for university screenings through the POV free lending library.

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Guilty Pleasures
by Julie Moggan

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Every four seconds a romance novel published by Harlequin or its British counterpart, Mills & Boon, is sold somewhere in the world. Julie Moggan’s Guilty Pleasures takes an amusing and touching look at this global phenomenon. Ironies abound in the contrasts between the everyday lives of the books’ readers and the fantasy worlds that offer them escape. Guilty Pleasures portrays five romance devotees who must, ultimately, find their dreams in the real world. An Official Selection of the 2010 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. (60 minutes)

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In the Family
by Joanna Rudnick

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How much would you sacrifice to survive? When Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" at age 27, she knew the information could save her life. And she knew she was not only confronting mortality at an early age, but also was going to have to make heart-wrenching decisions about the life that lay ahead of her. Should she take the irreversible preventive step of having her breasts and ovaries removed or risk developing cancer? What would happen to her romantic life, her hopes for a family? "In the Family" documents Rudnick's efforts to reach out to other women while facing her deepest fears. A co-production of Joanna Rudnick, Kartemquin Films and Independent Television Service (ITVS).

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Last Train Home
by Lixin Fan

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Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work. As the Zhangs navigate their new world, Last Train Home paints a rich, human portrait of China’s rush to economic development. An EyeSteelFilm production in association with ITVS International. An Official Selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. (90 minutes)

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The Light in Her Eyes
by Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix

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Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway — women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. (90 minutes)

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Señorita Extraviada
by Lourdes Portillo

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Someone is killing the young women of Juárez, Mexico. Since 1993, over 270 young women have been raped and murdered in a chillingly consistent and brazen manner. Authorities ignore pleas for justice from the victims' families and the crimes go unpunished. Most disturbingly, evidence of government complicity remains uninvestigated as the killings continue to this day. Crafting a film that is both a poetic meditation and a mystery, "Señorita Extraviada" is a haunting investigation into an unspeakable crime wave amid the disorders and corruption of one of the biggest border towns in the world. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) Co-Presentation.

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FILMS FROM THE ARCHIVE

Films that are currently unavailable in our free lending library but that we recommend for group and classroom screenings.

Discovering Dominga
by Patricia Flynn with Mary Jo McConahay

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When 29-year-old Iowa housewife Denese Becker decides to return to the Guatemalan village where she was born, she begins a journey towards finding her roots, but one filled with harrowing revelations. Denese, born Dominga, was nine when she became her family's sole survivor of a massacre of Maya peasants. Two years later, she was adopted by an American family. In "Discovering Dominga," Denese's journey home is both a voyage of self-discovery and a political awakening, bearing searing testimony to a hemispheric tragedy and a shameful political crime. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) co-presentation. An Active Voice Selection.

This film is not currently available in our free lending library.

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The Education of Shelby Knox
by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt

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What's it like to be a Christian teenage girl today? "The Education of Shelby Knox" profiles a young native of Lubbock, Texas, on the rocky road through high school. At 15, Shelby pledges celibacy until marriage, but because Lubbock has one of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the state, she also spearheads a campaign for comprehensive sex education in the high schools, opposing the established "abstinence-only" curriculum. When the campaign broadens with a fight for a gay-straight alliance club in the high school, Shelby confronts her parents and her faith as she begins to understand how deeply personal beliefs can inform political action. A co-presentation with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

This film is not currently available in our free lending library.

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Escuela
by Hannah Weyer

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A moving follow-up to POV's "La Boda (The Wedding)", the saga of the Luis family continues as Liliana and Elizabeth, two of the Luis family daughters, try to make their way in 21st century America. For Liliana who begins her freshman year in high school, this means dealing with the harsh demands of work in the fields, constant travel and endlessly changing schools, classes and friends as she migrates with her farm-worker family between California, Texas and Mexico. For Elizabeth, a limited education and the struggle to secure citizenship for her husband combine to create an uncertain economic outlook. In this compassionate portrait, Escuela continues the story of one Mexican-American family's drive towards a better future.

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Every Mother's Son
by Tami Gold and Kelly Anderson

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In the late 1990s, three victims of police brutality made headlines around the country: Amadou Diallo, the young West African man whose killing sparked intense public protest; Anthony Baez, killed in an illegal choke-hold, and Gary (Gidone) Busch, a Hasidic Jew shot and killed outside his Brooklyn home. "Every Mother's Son" profiles three New York mothers who unexpectedly find themselves united to seek justice and transform their grief into an opportunity for profound social change. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.

This film is not currently available in our free lending library.

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Georgie Girl
by Annie Goldson and Peter Wells

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Born George Beyer, one-time prostitute-turned-politician, Georgina Beyer was elected to New Zealand's Parliament in 1999, becoming the world's first transsexual to hold a national office. Amazingly, a mostly white, conservative, rural constituency voted this former sex worker of Maori descent into office. Chronicling Georgina's transformations from farm boy to celebrated cabaret diva to grassroots community leader, "Georgie Girl" couples interviews and images of Beyer's nightclub and film performances with footage showing a day in the life of this New Zealand Member of Parliament. The film presents a remarkable account of Beyer's precedent-setting accomplishment, revealing her intelligence, charisma and humor.

 

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Girls Like Us
by Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane Wagner

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During the four years of shooting this teen chronicle in South Philadelphia, Raelene tackles parenting, Anna struggles with sexuality, De'Yona grapples with loss and Lisa wrestles with relationships. Filmmakers Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio render a longitudinal portrait that celebrates the fragility, power and drama of adolescence with uncommon patience and respect. A rare and disarming peek into the very real lives of teenage girls, the film provides access to the seldom heard voices of young women working to shape their identities in the '90s.

 

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Kelly Loves Tony
by Spencer Nakasako

Kelly Loves Tony'
She's a straight-A student; he's trying to leave gang life behind. A camcorder becomes both witness and confidante for these markedly singular, yet utterly typical teens as they self-document the trials of growing up too fast and too soon in America. Emmy award winning filmmaker Spencer Nakasako deftly guides this video diary of a young Southeast Asian couple wrestling with the demands of parenting, love, dreams and disillusionment in the nebulous cultural zone between first and second generation immigrant life.

 

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La Boda
by Hannah Weyer

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Elizabeth is marrying Artemio in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and you are cordially invited to the wedding. Meet these two young people from the U.S.-Mexican border region whose lives are framed by the challenges of migrant life. Through Elizabeth, we see a family and community continually on the move, keeping alive their roots in Mexico even as they incorporate American-style dreams and their often harsh realities. In this absorbing film, the wedding becomes a touching evocation of migrant life, girlhood, and the enduring strength of family tradition.

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Love & Diane
by Jennifer Dworkin

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"Love & Diane" is a frank and astonishingly intimate real-life drama of a mother and daughter desperate for love and forgiveness, but caught in a devastating cycle. During the 1980's, a crack cocaine epidemic ravaged many impoverished inner city neighborhoods. As parents like Diane succumbed to addiction, a generation of children like Love entered the foster care system. Shot over ten years, the film centers on Love and Diane after the family is reunited and is struggling to reconnect. Now eighteen and a mother herself, Love must reconcile her anger and confront the ways in which her mother's past mistakes haunt her life. Diane, in turn, makes new choices for herself, seeking to break the treadmill of addiction and poverty. Powerful and immediate, "Love & Diane" is an epic film that shatters stereotypes and offers hope amidst seemingly impossible odds. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.

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Lumo
by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt and Nelson Walker III
co-directed by Louis Abelman & Lynn True

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The agonies of present-day Africa are deeply etched in the bodies of women. In eastern Congo on the Rwandan border, vying militias, armies and bandits use rape as a weapon of terror. Lumo Sinai was just over 20 when marauding soldiers attacked her. A fistula, a medical condition common among victims of violent rape, rendered Lumo incontinent and threatens her ability to bear children. Rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family, she awaits reconstructive surgery. "Lumo" is her story, tragic in its cruelties but also inspiring for the struggle she wages and the dignity she displays, with the help of an extraordinary African hospital, to overcome shame, fear and the affliction that robs her of a normal life.

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Made in L.A.
by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar

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"Made in L.A." follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verité style, "Made in L.A." reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman's life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, "Made in L.A." is a story about immigration, the power of unity and the courage it takes to find your voice. A co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). A Diverse Voices Project co-production. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

Winner of the 2008 News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story — Long Form

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Maquilapolis [city of factories]
by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre

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Just over the border in Mexico is an area peppered with maquiladoras: massive factories often owned by the world's largest multinational corporations. Carmen and Lourdes work at maquiladoras in Tijuana, where each day they confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos. In this lyrical documentary, the women reach beyond the daily struggle for survival to organize for change, taking on both the Mexican and U.S. governments and a major television manufacturer. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

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Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
by Freida Lee Mock

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The Vietnam War Memorial was one of the most controversial monuments of its time. Thrust in to the eye of the storm was architect-sculptor Maya Lin, whose design for the memorial was chosen when she was a 21-year-old college student. Withstanding bitter attacks, she held her ground with clarity and grace. In this Academy Award winner, Freida Lee Mock follows a decade in the life of this visionary artist.

"Two Thumbs Up" — Siskel and Ebert

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My American Girls: A Dominican Story
by Aaron Matthews

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In vivid verité detail, My American Girls captures the joys and struggles in a year of the lives of the Ortiz family, first-generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Matthews' funny and touching film captures the rewards and costs of pursuing the American dream. From hard-working parents who imagine retiring to their rural homeland to their American-born daughters caught between their parent's values and their own, the film encompasses the contradictions of contemporary immigrant life.

 

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No More Tears Sister
by Helene Klodawsky

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A story of love, revolution and betrayal, "No More Tears Sister" explores the price of truth in times of war. Set during the violent ethnic conflict that has enveloped Sri Lanka over decades, the documentary recreates the courageous and vibrant life of renowned human rights activist Dr. Rajani Thiranagama. Mother, anatomy professor, author and symbol of hope, Thiranagama was assassinated at the age of 35. This documentary recounts her dramatic story.

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The Principal Story
by Tod Lending and David Mrazek

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The Principal Story tells two stories, painting a dramatic portrait of the challenges facing America's public schools — and of the great difference a dedicated principal can make. Tresa Dunbar is a second-year principal at Chicago's Nash Elementary, where 98% of students come from low-income families; in Springfield, Illinois, Kerry Purcell has led Harvard Park Elementary, with similar demographics, for six years. Tod Lending (Omar & Pete, POV 2005) and David Mrazek followed both women over the course of a school year, discovering each one's unique styles yet similar passions. The Principal Story takes the viewer along for an emotional ride that reveals what effective educational leadership looks like in the 21st century.

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True-Hearted Vixens
by Mylène Moreno

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These women want to play professional football. Make that full contact, NFL-style, smash-mouth football. True-Hearted Vixens follows the fortunes of two women and the teams they play for during a six-game exhibition tour of a start-up Women's Professional Football League. With their dreams tied to the league's success, the women grapple with powerful social stereotypes, the league's business practices and their own changing expectations of success.

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What I Want My Words To Do To You
by Madeleine Gavin, Judith Katz and Gary Sunshine

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"What I Want My Words to Do To You" offers an unprecedented look into the minds and hearts of the women inmates of New York's Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. The film goes inside a writing workshop led by playwright Eve Ensler, consisting of fifteen women, most of whom were convicted of murder. Through a series of exercises and discussions, the women, including former Weather Underground Members Kathy Boudin and Judith Clark, delve into and expose the most terrifying places in themselves, as they grapple with the nature of their crimes and their own culpability. The film culminates in an emotionally charged prison performance of the women's writing by acclaimed actresses Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez, Hazelle Goodman, and Mary Alice.

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The World Before Her
by Nisha Pahuja

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The World Before Her is a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant—a ticket to stardom in a country wild about beauty contests. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture, Christianity and Islam. Moving between these divergent realities, the film creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world's largest democracy at a critical transitional moment—and of two women who hope to shape its future. Winner, World Documentary Competition Award, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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Left: WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN? by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima (POV 1989)