Occasionally films come out in the mainstream that give a glimpse of hope that perhaps the world of film is changing and becoming more adept at telling stories that don’t rely on sexist stereotypes – last summer the Hunger Games gave a promise of a heroine who could fend for herself, or Brave, which managed to not only establish that women can be self sufficient, but also built on a storyline of mother-daughter relationships and avoiding romance all together (bravo!) . But there’s more than a long way to go, particularly if you submit most films to the Bechdel test.
The test asks three questions: 1) are there at least two women in the story? 2) Do they talk to one another?, and 3) If they do talk to eachother, is it about something besides a man?
The Athena Film Festival is on this weekend, providing us the opportunity to see the diversity of women’s leadership both in real life and in the fictional world. Now in its third year, it began on Feb 7, and continues through tomorrow, Feb 10. So if you happen to be in New York City, you’ve just figured out your plans for this evening.
But, for those of us who aren’t in New York, trailers will have to do until we can get our girl-power paws on these puppies. For the full list, visit the Athena Film Festival page, but below I’ve pulled out the most political of the bunch for some Saturday trailer-surfing.
A teenaged girl becomes obsessed with ecological disaster, forcing her to rethink her future. Inspired by a New Yorker article on global warming.
Based on a true story
Hannah Arendt is a portrait of the genius that shook the world with her discovery of “the banality of evil.” After she attends the Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem, Arendt dares to write about the Holocaust in terms no one has ever heard before. Her work instantly provokes a furious scandal, and Arendt stands strong as she is attacked by friends and foes alike. But as the German-Jewish émigré also struggles to suppress her own painful associations with the past, the film exposes her beguiling blend of arrogance and vulnerability — revealing a soul defined and derailed by exile.
The Invisible War
The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. Military.
A story of the infamous Val’ d’Hiv roundup in 1942 when French police carried out an etensive raid on Jews in greater Paris, resultin gin the arrest of more than 13,000 people, including 4,000 children. Told from the prespectie of the children and the nurse who cared for them.
Contemporary life in Russia is shown through teh story of Masha, a 19-year-old girl who is a member of Nashi, a political youth organization connected with the Kremlin. Masha begins to question her involvement after a journalist friend of hers is attacked.
Women Aren’t Funny
Comedienne Bonnie McFarlane sets out to find out once and for all if women are funny and report her unbiased findings.
Wonder Women! The untold story of American Superheroines
Tracing the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and superheroines in film from the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to today, Wonder Women! examines how popular representations of women reflect society’s anxieties about womens power and liberation.