News & Events

Women Take the Reel

A Film Festival Celebrating
Women’s History Month

This annual film festival is a collaborative effort among Women's and Gender Studies departments involved in the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies (as well as select institutions/universities aligned with its mission) that features films directed by women and about issues relating to gender, race, sexuality, class and/or feminism.

The focus is on intellectual investigation of these issues as well as visibility for female directors, and so every film is accompanied by a Q&A and discussion with either the film director, producer, or a faculty member from the film screening's host institution host institution.

All films are free and open to the public

Individual films, screening dates, and times listed below.

 

FILMS and SCREENING DATES:

two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

The Supreme Price
at MIT
Directed by Joanna Lipper
March 6, 2015 from 7-9pm*
MIT Campus, Building 32 Room 123

The Supreme Price is a feature length documentary film that traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father's victory in Nigeria's Presidential Election and her mother's assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiola faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria's most marginalized population: women.

Film to be followed by Q&A discussion with director Joanna Lipper.

*pizza will be served at 6:30pm.
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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Rebel
at Tufts University

Directed by María Agui Carter
March 11, 2015 at 6:30pm
Tufts University, Barnum Hall 008
163 Packard Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

At the outset of the American Civil War, a teenager paid a tailor to make a soldier's uniform. Harry T. Buford fought as an officer in the battle of First Bull Run, was wounded at Shiloh, then served as a secret agent for the Confederacy. But Buford harbored a secret for which he could have been court-martialed or worse: his real name was Loreta Janeta Velazquez. By 1863, Loreta was working for the Union. Loreta was a woman not only ahead of her time, she was ahead of ours – the American military has only recently cleared women for combat yet Loreta was one of the estimated thousand women who secretly soldiered during the American Civil War over a hundred and fifty years ago.

Film to be followed by Q&A discussion with film director María Agui Carter

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Wadjda
at Lesley University

Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour
March 12, 2015 5-7pm
University Hall Amphitheater (Room 2-150), Porter Campus, Lesley University
1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge

Wadjda is a movie of firsts. This first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia is the story of a young girl living in a suburb of Riyadh determined to raise enough money to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. Even more impressive, Wadjda is the first feature film made by a female Saudi filmmaker. In a country where cinemas are banned and women cannot drive or vote, writer-director Haifaa Al Mansour has broken many barriers with her new film.


Film to be followed by discussion.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Tomboy
at MIT

Directed by Céline Sciamma
March 13, 2015 7-9pm*
MIT Campus Building 32 Room 123


10-year old Laure is the new kid in town. Preferring to dress in androgynous clothing, Laure introduces themself as Mikael to the local group of kids and soon forms a bond with a neighborhood girl, Lisa. At first, Laure/Mikael’s little sister Jeanne is the only one who knows their secret; but with the new school year fast approaching, the truth will inevitably be revealed. Celine Sciamma’s charming film explores issues of youth and gender identity and the resilience of family and friendship.


Film will be followed by Q&A session with Catherine E. Clark, Assistant Professor of French Studies at MIT.

*pizza will be served at 6:30pm.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Out in the Night
at Northeastern University
Directed by blair dorosh-walther
March 18, 2015 5pm, followed by q&A
Snell Library, Room 90
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Under the neon lights in a gay-friendly neighborhood of New York City, four young African-American lesbians are violently and sexually threatened by a man on the street. They defend themselves against him and are charged and convicted in the courts and in the media as a 'Gang of Killer Lesbians.’ Visit http://www.outinthenight.com/ for more information on the film.


Film to be followed by discussion with Suzanna Danuta Walters and Julie Grigsby.
Suzanna Danuta Walters is Professor of Sociology and Program Director and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University and the Editor-in-Chief of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Juli Grigsby is a visiting scholar in WGSS at Northeastern University and a lecturer at Harvard University. She holds a Ph.D. In Social Cultural Anthropology from the African Diaspora Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Saving Face
at MIT

Directed by Alice Wu
March 19, 2015 from 7-9pm*
MIT Campus Building 32 Room 123

Alice Wu, a software-engineer-turned-filmmaker, wrote and directed this semi-autobiographical film. Wil, a young Chinese-American woman, has her life turned upside-down when her pregnant mother moves in with her. Wil must figure out how to balance her family, her job, and her budding relationship with a dancer named Vivian. Within their traditionalist Chinese community, Wil, her mother, and Vivian are all in search of acceptance and the courage to do what makes them happy.

Film to be followed by discussion.

*pizza will be served at 6:30pm.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

100% Woman
at University of Massachusetts Boston

Directed by Karen Duthie
March 24, 2015 at 6:15pm
Wheatley Hall, Snowden Auditorium
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

From her first day of competition, reigning Canadian downhill mountain bike champion Michelle Dumaresq has been shaking up the world of sports.  But it's not her riding talent that's sparked controversy and international media attention - it's the fact that for the first 20 years of her life Michelle was Michael. Shot over two years, 100% Woman is an adrenaline-fueled ride-along on Michelle's controversial foray into international women's competition.  Combining verite scenes, interviews, home movies and dynamic footage of some of the best mountain bikers in the world, we follow Michelle from her first local race, to the World Championships where she makes history as the first transgendered athlete on a national team, to the glare of the media spotlight.

Visit http://www.100percentwoman.com/ for more information on the film.

Film to be followed by post-screening discussion with Professor Patricia Stuelke, Lecturer of Women's and Gender Studies, and Professor David Areford, Associate Professor of Art History.
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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Rocks in My Pockets
at Emerson College

Directed by Signe Baumane
March 26, 2015 at 7pm
Bright Family Screening Room 4th Floor
559 Washington St Boston, MA 02111

Latvia, the late 1920s. Anna, a young woman, pretty and educated, falls in love with an adventurous entrepreneur, 30 years her senior. But with marriage comes great jealousy, and the entrepreneur hides Anna away in the forest, far from other men, where she bears him eight children. The Great Depression hits them hard. Then Latvia is overrun with invasions by the Soviets, then the Nazis, then the Soviets once again. Anna is a pillar of strength, defying the hardships, raising her young, teaching them survival secrets of the forest. But something inside her is terribly wrong. Years later, Signe, a young artist, asks her father, "how did my grandmother die?" Her father is evasive. His seven siblings are evasive, as well. Signe strongly suspects that Anna committed suicide. Clues of mental illness had always leaked through the family stories. Signe suffers from depression herself. Her suicidal fantasies get her locked away for four months in a Soviet mental institute. Three of her cousins, all women, battle madness, as well. Could there be a link between Anna and the four granddaughters? Defying the stigma that silences so many, Signe takes us on a journey deep into her own depression where she looks to confront the family demons.

Film to followed by Q&A session with film director Signe Baumane. Signe Baumane is a Latvian, fine artist, illustrator and writer, currently living and working in New York City. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, she was a 2005 Fellow in Film of the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is also a teacher, having taught animation at the Pratt Institute from 2000 to 2002.


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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Selma
at Emerson College

Directed by Ava DuVernay
March 30, 2015 at 7pm
Bright Family Screening Room 4th Floor
559 Washington St Boston, MA 02111

Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars
at Brandeis University

Directed by Noga Ashkenazi
March 31, 2015 at 7pm
Lown 002
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453

The Grey Area is an intimate look at women’s issues in the criminal justice system and the unique experience of studying feminism behind bars. Through a series of captivating class discussions, headed by students from Grinnell College, a small group of female inmates at a maximum women’s security prison in Mitchellville, Iowa, share their diverse experiences with motherhood, drug addiction, sexual abuse, murder, and life in prison. The women, along with their teachers, explore the “grey area” that is often invisible within the prison walls and delve into issues of race, class, sexuality and gender.

Visit http://thegreyareamovie.com/ for more information on the film.

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two smiling faculty members looking engaged and happy

Gulabi Gang
at Boston College

Directed by Nishtha Jain
March 31, 2015 from 6-8pm
Fulton Hall 511 Auditorium
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labor, child marriages and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.” The Gulabi Gang was initially intended to punish oppressive husbands, fathers and brothers, and combat domestic violence and desertion. Gulabi Gang, the award-winning documentary by Nishtha Jain, pulls us into the center of these blazing conflicts, uncovering a complex story, disturbing yet heartening.


Film to be followed with Q&A with Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Boston College.

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WOMEN TAKE THE REEL is a FREE roaming film festival SPONSORED BY: MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies; the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies; Boston College Women's and Gender Studies Program; Boston University Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Brandeis University Women's and Gender Studies Program; Northeastern University Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Simmons College Department of Women's and Gender Studies; Tufts University Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; UMass Boston Women's and Gender Studies Department; Emerson College Department of Visual and Media Arts; and Lesley University.

Next Steps

Contact Us

The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085