Films Available through Chellis House (contact Karin Hanta x5937 to borrow materials) – I have taken the synopsis from imdb or from publicity materials


Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque. DER, 2006. 45 mins.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by the federal government on abstinence-from-sex-until-marriage education across America. This compelling documentary is a case study of abstinence education coming into one public school system in Albuquerque, N.M. and the firestorm of controversy that ensued. The debate is typical of what is happening in other communities around the country. This documentary gives voice to a diverse spectrum of people; teens, parents, public health officials, and educators, right up the line to state officials and national advocates on both sides of this important issue. Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque objectively examines the landscape of a debate that is emblematic of a divided America.


Arresting Ana.  WMM, 2009, 25 mins

Sarah, a French college student runs a “pro-Ana” blog, part of a global online community of young women sharing tips on living with anorexia. Valerie Boyer is a passionate French National Assembly legislator proposing a groundbreaking bill to ban these online forums, issuing hefty fines and two-year prison sentences to their members. Eye-opening and extremely timely, ARRESTING ANA is the first film on a burgeoning movement promoting self-starvation.



Black and White. WMM, 2006, 17 mins.

New Zealand based narrative.  BLACK AND WHITE shines a sensitive light on a subject that is too often either shunned or sensationalized: the experiences of intersex people (sometimes called hermaphrodites). This beautiful and stylish film artfully explores the potent creative collaboration between Mani Bruce Mitchell and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan. Portrayed through this lens, Mitchell’s story introduces viewers to notions of fluid gender identity, challenging the rigid categories of “male” and “female.”


Boy I Am. WMM, 2006, 72 mins.

New York City based narratives.  An important exploration of issues rarely touched upon by most films portraying female-to-male (FTM) transgender experiences, this feature-length documentary sets itself apart from other recent films on this topic. Tackling the resistance of some women in feminist and lesbian communities who view FTM transitioning as at best a “trend” or at worst an anti-feminist act that taps into male privilege, this groundbreaking film opens up a dialog between the lesbian, feminist, and transgender communities while also promoting understanding of transgender issues for general audiences.


Breaking Our Silence: Gloucester Men Speak Out Against Domestic Abuse. MEF, 2007, 11 min

This 11-minute documentary gives insight into the activist efforts of a group of men in the town of Gloucester, MA. Using footage from anti-violence marches and centering on community men speaking out against violence and domestic abuse, this video is an effective case study of how men can come together to challenge the violent construction of masculinity. With its focus on taking action to make change, Breaking Our Silence is an excellent case study of the theories presented in MEF’s Tough Guise.


By Invitation Only. Palmetto Pictures, 2006, 57 mins.

Inclusion in New Orleans’ old line Carnival society remains “by invitation only,” but this new documentary gives viewers an unprecedented look at the inner workings of this insular world through the lens of one of its own. Questioning its racial exclusivity, filmmaker Rebecca Snedeker decided to forego the debutante tradition that was a birthright of women in her family – but still she could not ignore its hold on her identity. In this film, she follows another young woman’s ascension to her throne as a Mardi Gras queen, along the way revealing the tension between family and social status with both her own personal convictions and the winds of change in tradition-bound New Orleans. As Hurricane Katrina laid the cultural and racial complexities of the Crescent City bare, this film offers a probing and highly personal view into one of its oldest and most controversial traditions.


Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed. WMM, 2004. 77 mins.

Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land.


Club Native: How Thick Is Your Blood. WMM, 2008. 78 mins.

In Club Native, acclaimed Mohawk director Tracey Deer follows the stories of four inspiring Mohawk women who share about the heartbreaking costs of “marrying out” of the Mohawk Nation and the clash between love, growing up biracial, and preserving the fabric of a close-knit community. The filmmaker traces the roots of exclusionary attitudes to 100 years of discriminatory government policy, beginning with the Indian Act and exacerbated by lingering preconceptions about blood quantum that have left a divisive legacy within the community. The result is a candid and deeply moving look at the frustration suffered by many First Nations women, as well as a powerful story of the triumph of love and human spirit.  


Cut from Different Cloth: Burqas and Beliefs. Red Door Video Productions, 2005, 56:40 mins.

In 2005 filmmakers Cliff Orloff and Olga Shalygin returned to Afghanistan’s northern city of Mazar-I-Sharif for the third time since the fall of the Taliban in 2002.
Despite a growing network of Afghan friends and colleagues from their two prior visits, they had been restricted in their ability to meet freely with Afghan women.
The all-covering burqa, the high-walled living compounds and cultural restrictions on women limited their access. Olga, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, was puzzled why virtually all the Afghan women she saw still wore the burqa…even though security had greatly improved and a new constitution was adopted that granted women equal rights with men.
Through Serena, a 27-year-old American woman, who is living with an Afghan family and their 27-year-old daughter Hasina, we are taken inside the walls that separate women from men. Serena becomes the eyes and ears of the filmmakers.


The Education of Shelby Knox: Sex, Lies, and Education. WMM, 2005. 76 mins.

The swift rise in federally funded, abstinence-only sex education under the Bush administration is in the headlines today, sparking an intense national debate about our responsibility to teach teens the facts of life. Those supporting an abstinence-only approach say that teaching anything but abstinence just encourages teens to experiment with sex. Opponents say that withholding information about condom use and birth control will only lead to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Into the culture wars steps 15-year-old Shelby Knox of Lubbock, Texas. A self-described “good Southern Baptist girl,” Knox herself has pledged abstinence until marriage. When she finds that Lubbock has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the state, and her county’s high schools teach abstinence as the only safe sex, she becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education, profoundly changing her political and spiritual views along the way.


The Equal Rights Amendment: Unfinished Business for the Constitution. Educational Film Center 1998 (video), 17:27 mind.


Date Rape Backlash: Media and the Denial of Rape. MEF, 1994.

How did date rape shift from a “shockingly frequent… outrage,” as Newsweek once called it, to a controversy over “crying rape,” as New York magazine later labeled it? Susan Faludi, bell hooks, Mary Koss, Katha Pollitt, Neil Malamuth, and others, analyze a classical case study in media “backlash.”
By the early 1990s, solid research and overwhelming evidence had prompted a growing awareness of the epidemic nature of date rape, especially on college campuses. But, starting in 1993, the media used the anecdotal comments of one young woman, Katie Roiphe, to undermine efforts to stop this continuing crime against women. How did this happen? Academy Award Winning- screenwriter Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) hosts a lively discussion by researchers, journalists, and authors.


The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde. WMM, 2002. 59 mins.

This powerful documentary is a moving tribute to legendary black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992). One of the most celebrated icons of feminism’s second wave, Lorde inspired several generations of activists with her riveting poetry, serving as a catalyst for change and uniting the communities of which she was a part: black arts and black liberation, women’s liberation and lesbian and gay liberation. Nowhere was this more apparent than the groundbreaking I AM YOUR SISTER CONFERENCE which brought together 1200 activists from 23 countries, including thrilling footage of the inimitable Lorde herself, and candid interviews with conference organizers. THE EDGE OF EACH OTHER’S BATTLES powerfully brings Lorde’s legacy of poetry and politics to life and conveys the spirit, passion and intensity that remains her trademark.


Feminism: Controversies, Challenges, Actions. BCRW, 2005. 29:27 mins.

Women who envisioned the Scholar & the feminist conference and some of the conference’s past participants reflect on the conference and the feminist movement.


Frontline: Sex Slaves. PBS Video, 2006. 60 mins.

An undercover journey deep into the world of sex trafficking, following one man determined to rescue his wife — kidnapped and sold into the global sex trade.


Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.  MED, 2007, 61 min

Filmmaker Byron Hurt, a life-long hip-hop fan, was watching rap music videos on BET when he realized that each video was nearly identical. Guys in fancy cars threw money at the camera while scantily clad women danced in the background. As he discovered how stereotypical rap videos had become, Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist, decided to make a film about the gender politics of hip-hop, the music and the culture that he grew up with. “The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” he says. “And I began to become more conflicted about the music that I loved.” The result is HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a riveting documentary that tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture.


I Had an Abortion.  WMM, 2005, 55 min

Underneath the din of politicians posturing about “life” and “choice” and beyond the shouted slogans about murder and rights, there are real stories of real women who have had abortions. Each year in the US, 1.3 million abortions occur, but the topic is still so stigmatized it’s never discussed in polite company. Powerful, poignant, and fiercely honest, I HAD AN ABORTION tackles this taboo, featuring 10 women – including famed feminist Gloria Steinem – who candidly describe experiences spanning seven decades, from the years before Roe v. Wade to the present day. Filmmakers Jennifer Baumgardner (author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future) and Gillian Aldrich insightfully document how changing societal pressures have affected women’s choices and experiences.


I Was a Teenage Feminist: A Documentary about Redefining the F-Word. WMM, 2005, 62 mins.

When did feminism become a bad word? Why is it that young independent, progressive women in today’s society feel uncomfortable identifying with the F-word? Join filmmaker Therese Shechter as she takes a funny, moving and very personal journey into the heart of Feminism, circa 2005. Armed with a video camera and an irreverent sense of humor, Therese talks with Feminist superstars, rowdy frat boys, liberated Cosmo girls and Radical Cheerleaders, all in her quest to find out whether Feminism can still be a source of personal and political power.


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Video Project, 2002. 14 mins.

It’s about everything and one thing: choice.


Live Nude Girls Unite. FHF, 2000. 75 mins.

Documentary look at the 1996-97 effort of the dancers and support staff at a San Francisco peep show, The Lusty Lady, to unionize. Angered by arbitrary and race-based wage policies, customers’ surreptitious video cameras, and no paid sick days or holidays, the dancers get help from the Service Employees International local and enter protracted bargaining with the union-busting law firm that management hires. We see the women work, sort out their demands, and go through the difficulties of bargaining. The narrator is Julia Query, a dancer and stand-up comedian who is reluctant to tell her mother, a physician who works with prostitutes, that she strips.


Love, Honour and Disobey. WMM, 2005. 61 mins.

Domestic violence in all forms—from physical abuse to forced marriages to honour killings—continues to be frighteningly common worldwide and accepted as “normal” within too many societies. Getting to the heart of current multicultural debates, LOVE, HONOUR, & DISOBEY reveals the issues around domestic violence in Britain’s black and ethnic minority communities through the eyes of the Southall Black Sisters, a small group of women who have been working to combat abuse for more than 25 years.


Maid in America. WMM, 2005. 58 mins.

MAID IN AMERICA is an intimate, eye-opening look at the lives of las domésticas, as seen through the eyes of Eva, Telma and Judith: three Latina immigrants, each with a very different story, who work as nannies and housekeepers in Los Angeles, California. Filmmakers Anayansi Prado and Kevin Leadingham followed their subjects for several years, and their cameras caught some of the most intimate moments of these women’s lives, both on and off the job.


Macho. WMM, 2000. 26 mins.

MACHO, a film by Lucinda Broadbent, provides an in-depth profile of Men Against Violence and its ground-breaking work towards eliminating attitudes of male chauvinism (known as machismo in Spanish) that have perpetuated violent acts against women in Nicaragua and Latin America. The film strongly demonstrates that despite living in one of the most destitute countries in Latin America, this group has succeeded in providing a model that is used by men worldwide to discuss issues of violence and advocate for the rights of women.


No: Confronting Sexual Assault in our Community. California Newsreel, 2006. 94 mins.

NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities is a 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 African American communities, 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.


Searching for Angela Shelton. Hillhopper Productions, 2004, 94 mins.

In the uplifting and multiple award-winning documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, filmmaker Angela Shelton drives around the United States surveying other Angela Sheltons. She discovers that 70% of the Angela Sheltons she speaks to are survivors of rape, childhood sexual abuse and/or domestic violence.


The Shape of Water. Kum-Kum Bhavnani, 2006. 70 mins.

In an intimate encounter with five very different women in Brazil, India, Jerusalem, and Senegal (narrated by Susan Sarandon with introductory narration co-written by Edwidge Danticat) THE SHAPE OF WATER offers a close look at the far reaching and vibrant alternatives crafted by women in response to environmental degradation, archaic traditions, lack of economic independence and war.


Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness.  MEF, 1995, 30 mins

Jean Kilbourne’s award-winning video Slim Hopes argues that the stories advertising tells about food, femininity, and the female body contribute to disordered eating. From ads that glamorize emotional eating with catch-phrases like “you can never have too much,” to ads that promote thinness and tell women to watch what they eat, Kilbourne takes the advertising industry to task for sending young women, in particular, a set of deeply contradictory and unhealthy messages about food. In the process, she offers productive new ways to think about anorexia, bulimia, and other life-threatening eating disorders.


Soldier’s Girl: They Didn’t Know How Dangerous Love Could Be. Showtime, 2003, 112 mins.

The true story of a young soldier beaten to death for falling in love with a transgendered nightclub performer.


Sporting Chance: The Lasting Legacy of Title IX, NCAA, 2012, 45 mins.

Opportunity is just the beginning. Title IX and its influence are often infused with biting criticism or passionate support. First signed into law in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments Act, Title IX was not intended to redefine the world of amateur sports, yet, that is its reputation. Over forty years Title IX has been battled over and batted about, but this simply-stated treatise on sexual equality opened the door to decades of successes for American girls and women. Through personal narratives and historical perspective, this is the story told in Sporting Chance.


Unveiled Views: Muslim Artists Speak Out.  WMM, 2009, 52 mins

In this revealing documentary five extraordinary women talk about their occupations, aspirations, and the rights and status of women in their Muslim countries.


Venus Boyz. FRF, 2002. 103 mins.

A film journey through a universe of female masculinity. A legendary Drag King Night in New York is the point of departure for an odyssey to transgendered worlds, where women become men – some for a night, others for their whole lives. What motivates them? What changes take place? What do they dream of? The drag kings of New York meet in clubs and change lustfully into their male alter egos, parodying them and exploring male eroticism and power strategies. In London we see women experiment with hormones to become new men and ‘cyborgs’. Masculinity and transformation as performance, subversion or existential necessity.


Who Does She Think She Is? Mystic Artists Film Production, 2008. 73 mins.

WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?, a riveting documentary by Academy Award-winning producer Pamela Tanner Boll (Born Into Brothels), features five bold women who navigate some of the most problematic intersections of our time: parenting and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. Through their lives Tanner Boll explores what it means to nurture children and family, and keep the creative fire burning within.


Working Women of the World. FRF, 2000. 53 mins.

Focusing on Levi Strauss & Co., WORKING WOMEN OF THE WORLD follows the relocation of garment production from Western countries to nations such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Turkey, where low wages are the rule and employee rights are nonexistent.





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