The Woman Citizen film series (Winter-Spring 2012) offers free, public viewings of films addressing women’s lives and women’s politics in the past and present, and in the United States and across the globe. Faculty from across CLA have selected the films; each faculty member will introduce his or her selection and lead a post-film discussion or activity. Most films will be shown on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in Owen Hall, Room 101.
Winter Film Schedule
Tuesday, Jan. 24
One Woman, One Vote
Narrated by Susan Sarandon, this film chronicles the dramatic seventy-year battle for woman suffrage in the United States, highlighting leaders and grassroots activists, illuminating tensions within the movement over ideology, strategy, and class and racial divisions, and illustrating the broader historical context that shaped the movement.
Host: Kim Jensen, Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western
Tuesday, Jan. 31
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Images of Women
In this update of her pioneering film, media scholar Jean Kilbourne examines the distorted ideals of femininity found in American print and television advertising and provokes viewers to think carefully and critically about popular culture’s explicit and implicit messages about sex and gender.
Host: Dwaine Plaza, Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies
Tuesday, Feb. 7
Medieval Lives: The Damsel
Monty Python star, Terry Jones, examines the surprising lives and roles of women in medieval Europe, shattering stereotypes about the “damsel in distress” and discovering instead strong, independent women who ran businesses, led armies, and asserted themselves in both their public and private lives.
Host: Tara Williams, Associate Professor of English
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision
This Academy Award-winning documentary tells the gripping story of sculptor and architect Maya Lin. At 21 years old she designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. amidst great controversy, and went on to devote her artistic talent to design other commemorative and healing projects to help us remember the past and its lessons.
Host: Flo Leibowitz, Professor of Philosophy, and Trisca Goodnow, Professor of
Tuesday, Feb. 28
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
An Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, this dramatic comedy follows three Russian women struggling to make it in the big city in the 1960s and 1970s, illuminating the personal and societal opportunities and limitations women faced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
Host: Bill Husband, Professor of History
Tuesday, March 6
Autumn Gem: A Documentary on China’s First Feminist
Autumn Gem chronicles the remarkable life of Qiu Jin, the “Chinese Joan of Arc,” a champion of women’s rights who defied traditional gender roles and led an armed uprising against the Qing Dynasty, becoming the first female martyr of China’s 1911 Revolution.
Host: Shiao-ling Yu, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature
The Spring film schedule is in development, but it will likely include:
The Unauthorized Biography of America’s 11 ½ “ Sweetheart. This entertaining documentary explores the history and contested meaning of one of America’s cultural icons.
Host: Aurora Sherman, Assistant Professor, Psychology.
The Tragedy that Forever Changed Labor and Industry. This documentary chronicles the labor activism of young, single, immigrant women working in New York’s garment industry in the early twentieth century, the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that killed one hundred and forty-eight of them, and the ensuring political activism to change government’s role in shaping working conditions.
Host: Anita Guerrini, Professor of History and Horning Endowed Chair.
This 2002 film starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore follows three women of different generations whose lives are connected by Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway and are shaped by the gender ideologies of their eras.
Host: Anita Helle, Professor of English.
This 1999 French-Belgian film is about a seventeen year old girl with a difficult home life who struggles to find independence in an exploitative labor market.
Host: David McMurray, Associate Professor of Anthropology.
Chisolm ‘72 : Unbought and Unbossed
This documentary follows the 1972 presidential campaign of Brooklyn congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, offering insights into the role of race and gender in shaping electoral politics in the wake of the 1960s.
Host: members of Women in Policy.
This 2005 film starring Charlize Theron is a fictionalized account of the experiences of Lois Jensen, whose struggle to escape an abusive relationship and raise her children resulted in breaking the gender barrier in Minnesota mines and becoming lead plaintiff in the nation’s first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit.
Host: Charlotte Headrick, Professor of Theatre Arts.
Regret to Inform
This Academy Award nominated documentary follows filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn’s pilgrimage to the Vietnamese countryside where her husband died, exploring the meaning of the war through the eyes of American and Vietnamese widows.
Host: Patti Duncan, Associate Professor of Women Studies.
The Color Purple
This powerful film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey, is based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about women’s lives in America’s rural South.
Host: Jim Foster, Professor of Political Science.