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Ernestine De Soto is a Chumash Native American whose mother Mary Yee was the last speaker of her native Barbareño language. In 6 generations, her family reaches back to the days the Spanish arrived in Santa Barbara and made first contact. Ernestine tells this history from the perspective of her female ancestors, making her a unique link with the past.
In Guinea, traditional music is not a mere hobby but a cultural element cementing the identity of each ethnic group. It was a men's affair, at least until the apparition of an independent female band. The 'Baga Guinee,' a band of ten women aged between 25 and 40, is performing at weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies raising eyebrows in this tradition-laden country.Their rising popularity is a source of problems at home, with husbands and large families complaining about their constant traveling and demanding performance schedule. So how do these Baga women manage to match their traditional family life with the requirements of a musical career?
Black Feminist is a feature length documentary film surrounding the double edged sword of racial and gender oppression that black women face in America. This documentary is told through interviews from scholars, lecturers, writers, business owners, veterans, comedians and authors. In addition to information interviews, this documentary is narrated by our storybook character LaToya Johnson, played by Nadirah Lugg.
This is an experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 groundbreaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African diaspora. The conference brought together an array of dynamic scholars, activists, and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid, and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political, and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender peoples. The video brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and contemporary black gay media production.
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 alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century - and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one's life to social change.
Centered around the life of Liliana, a daughter entering her first year of high school, Hannah Weyer follows the back-and-forth movement of the family between their home in Texas near the borderlands and the California agricultural fields. Despite the best efforts of the school systems to accommodate students like Liliana, the social and emotional life of this young woman is constantly in flux. This is an important work revealing the difficulties of girl life on the border.
When African-American swimmer Simone Manuel won a 2016 Olympic Gold Medal she inspired a new generation of minority swimmers in America so the myth that 'Blacks Can't Swim' is exactly that a myth; but where does this rumour originate from? A short film (34 minutes) directed by award winning filmmaker Mysterex.
This important documentary investigates the effect of incest on three women as it illuminates their journey from pain and despair to recovery to finally working to end the cycle of incest.The film features former Miss America Marilyn Derbur and her nationwide work as an advocate for victims rights. Also profiled is Janice Mirikitani, president of San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church, and her work with inner city addicts and alcoholics. She has found that 90 percent of women in recovery were abused as children. Barbara Hamilton is a 79-year-old survivor who has finally ended three generations of incest in her family.
On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight — to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it.
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings -- spanning five decades -- articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century.
Life on the rez has never been easy, and for girls at the beginning of the 21st century, some issues seem further from resolution than ever. Mohawk Girls captures the lives of three exuberant and insightful Mohawk teenagers as they face their future. The unwritten rules of their close-knit community decree that those who move away risk their credibility, or worse, their rights as Mohawks. Those who stay give up the possibilities offered by the "outside world."
A New Color joyfully profiles the life and work of celebrated artist Edythe Boone whose colorful murals portray some of the major events of our time and illustrate the transformative power of art. From humble Harlem roots, the indefatigable Boone pursued her love of art and her dream of someday creating a new color -- "a color that no one had ever seen before." Boone moved her family to Berkeley in the 1970's from Harlem to avoid the growing crack epidemic. In the Bay Area, she was drawn to community mural projects that channeled her artistic talent into public advocacy for racial and social justice, including the landmark MaestraPeace mural on the San Francisco Women's Building.
Pauline and Paulette is a delightfully bittersweet story of four elderly sisters and their relationship with each other. For Pauline (Belgium's national treasure, Dora van der Groen), life is simple. She lives with Martha (Julienne De Bruyn), the eldest of her four sisters, in a small town between Brussels and the seacoast. Martha loves Pauline, and cares for her day in and day out. Pauline has a love for flowers and enjoys running errands in town for her sister Paulette (Ann Petersen) - her idol. Paulette owns a fabric store in town, but her passion is performing at the opera house. When Martha suddenly dies, everyone's world is turned upside down. Neither Paulette or their younger sister Cecile (Rosemarie Bergmans), who lives in Brussels with her French boyfriend (Idwig Stephane), feel their lives can include the responsibility of caring for their disabled sister. While both are in agreement to commit Pauline to a nursing home, Martha ultimately dictates the final word, stipulating in her will that all her worldly possessions would go to the three surviving sisters on the condition that one of them care for Pauline.
Maria Irene Fornes was one of America's greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many know her only as the ex-lover of writer and social critic Susan Sontag. The visionary Cuban-American dramatist constructed astonishing worlds on-stage, writing over 40 plays and winning nine Obie Awards. At the vanguard of the nascent Off-Off Broadway experimental theater movement in NYC, Fornes is often referred to as American theater's "Mother Avant-Garde." When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration that picks up where the pen left off.
Nadia Kamel’s Salata Baladi is a documentary with a simple premise: recorded family history. However, while the premise itself may be simple, Kamel’s film successfully touches on complex social and political tensions that have and continue to affect Egyptian society. Responding to an increase in negative rhetoric directed at perceived “others” in her native Egypt, Kamel set out to document her own diverse family history by recording the memories of her mother, Mary Rosenthal.
How do we create a history from a past that was hidden? Swimming with Lesbians dives into the darkest depths to find the answer. The film looks at an upstate New York community's efforts to create an LBGT historic archive. Extraordinary lesbian activist Madeline Davis uncovers the lives and histories collected for this archive"”some sad, some quirky, some tender"”and all richly imagined through the Blue Sky lens. The film share's Davis's mission to create a lasting legacy for the LBGT community: "We are ephemeral. This is for the ages."
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the inspiring story of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and its founder Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S.- educated Professor Maathai discovered her life's work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. Their lives had become intolerable: they were walking longer distances for firewood, clean water was scarce, the soil was disappearing from their farms, and their children were suffering from malnutrition. Maathai thought to herself, "Well, why not plant trees?" She soon discovered that tree planting had a ripple effect of empowering change. Countering the devastating cultural effects of colonialism, Maathai began teaching communities about self-knowledge as a path to change and community action.
Cheryl Dunye's debut feature is as controversial as it is sexy and funny. Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930's. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly as "the Watermelon Woman") had a white lesbian lover. At the same time, Cheryl falls in love with a very cute white customer at the video store (Guinevere Turner from Go Fish). Such are the complexities of race and sex in this startlingly fresh debut, which has been attacked by conservative Congressmen for having been funded by the NEA and lavishingly praised in the editorial pages for being charming and courageous.