March 2014
A film festival celebrating Women's History Month

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies celebrate Black Herstory month and the fifth annual Women Take the Reel film festival with a screening of...

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
directed by Shola Lynch

FRIDAY -- February 28, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [6-120]

Angela Davis joins the Communist Party, protests with the Black Panthers, and becomes a principle spokesperson for the burgeoning prison reform movement. As a result, she finds herself fighting to keep her job, and in the national media spotlight characterized by her many detractors as a dangerous subversive menace, and by her supporters as a strong leader challenging authority and boldly advocating for "Power to All People." On August 7th, 1970 Angela is implicated in the politically motivated kidnapping and murder of a judge in a brazen daylight shootout at the Marin County, CA courthouse. Angela flees California, convinced she will not be given a fair trial and is placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. After a national manhunt she is captured two months later in New York City. Charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, Angela is put on trial in one of the most sensational court cases of its time. After a two-year legal battle, an all white jury acquits her on all charges in 1972. You know her name. Now, you will finally know her story.

101 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Harvard College Women's Center presents...

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography
Directed by Becky Goldberg

SUNDAY -- March 2, 2014
Harvard College Women's Center Lounge
Canaday Hall B

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography profiles several women who are committed to making and supporting pornography, while maintaining their feminist values — as they take on the entire industry, fight sexism, and challenge stereotypes.

This candid, provocative and enlightening film features interviews with feminists who have made names for themselves through all aspects of the business — from former performers, who now work behind the camera as directors and producers, to magazine editors and a retail operator, whose million dollar business sells high quality sex items with an eye towards women. Their collective goal is to produce and distribute products that don’t degrade, objectify, or humiliate women.

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography takes a rare and empowering look into the pornography industry and feminist community to see how they intertwine within the politics and poetics of female sexuality. This film shows how feminist pornography demands to be recognized by the male dominated porn industry, its consumers, and the public, because it allows women to talk about sex publicly and explicitly.

60 minutes.

Simmons College Women's and Gender Studies/ Gender/Cultural Studies Departments present...

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
directed by Maro Chermayeff

WEDNESDAY -- March 5, 2014
Room S 183

The Half the Sky Movement is cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time. Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book of the same name, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to not only raise awareness of women's issues, but to also provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women. Change is possible, and you canbe part of the solution.

To date, supporters of the movement have donated more than $5 million to organizations helping women and girls; more than 1.1 million people have played the Facebook game; and more than 1,500 campus and community ambassadors have hosted screenings, held panel discussions, and educated members of their communities about the issues facing millions of women and girls and the inspiring individuals and organizations that are working for a fairer, freer world.

Discussion to follow with Professor Jyoti Puri. Professor Puri writes and teaches in the areas of sexualities, states, nationalisms, and transnational feminist critiques. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants, including a Rockefeller Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Research award. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Sexuality/State: Decriminalizing Homosexuality in India. Another collaborative book project, Hometown: Space and Affiliation in the Current Century, is also underway.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies, the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies, and the BU School of Public Health Maternal/Child Health Program present Women Take the Reel film screening of...

After Tiller
directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson

FRIDAY -- March 7, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [6-120]

After Tiller intimately explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients. Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson have created a moving and unique look at one of the most incendiary topics of our time, and they’ve done so in an informative, thought-provoking, and compassionate way.

85 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Northeastern University's Program in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Humanities Center; and Departments of Human Services, History, and Sociology present:

A Girl Like Her
directed by Ann Fessler

WEDNESDAY -- March 12, 2014
135 Shillman Hall, Northeastern University Campus
115 Forsyth Street
Boston, MA 02115

A GIRL LIKE HER reveals the hidden history of over a million young women who became pregnant in the 1950s and 60s and were banished to maternity homes to give birth, surrender their children, and return home alone. They were told to keep their secret, move on and forget. But, does a woman forget her child?

The film combines footage from educational films and newsreels of the time period about dating, sex, “illegitimate” pregnancy, and adoption—that both reflected and shaped the public’s understanding of single pregnancy during that time—with the voices of these mothers as they speak today, with hindsight, about the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives.

Discussion with director Ann Fessler to follow.

Ann Fessler, Professor at Rhode Island School of Design, is the director of the critically acclaimed documentary A GIRL LIKE HER (2012), and author of the award-winning book The Girls Who Went Away (2006), which exposed the hidden history of over a million women in the US who were pressured into surrendering children for adoption in the post WWII years. Critics have called Fessler’s film “a sociologically rich and important deconstruction of devastating double standard” that “packs an emotional wallop greater than most other films released this year, documentary or fiction."

University of Massachusetts Boston Department of Women's and Gender Studies presents...

The Price of Sex
directed by Mimi Chakarova

THURSDAY -- March 13, 2014
Snowden Auditorium, Wheatley Hall, 1st floor

The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filmed undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.

Brandeis University Women's and Gender Studies Program presents...

Mosquita y Mari
directed by Aurora Guerrero

THURSDAY -- March 13, 2014
Shiffman 219

Mosquita y Mari is a coming of age story that focuses on a tender friendship between two young Chicanas. Yolanda and Mari are growing up in Huntington Park, Los Angeles and have only known loyalty to one thing: family. Growing up in immigrant households, both girls are expected to prioritize the well-being of their families. Yolanda, an only child, delivers straight A's and the hope of the American Dream while Mari, the eldest, shares economic responsibilities with her undocumented family who scrambles to make ends meet.

When Mari moves in across the street from Yolanda, they maintain their usual life routine, until an incident at school thrusts them into a friendship and into unknown territory. As their friendship grows, a yearning to explore their strange yet beautiful connection surfaces. Lost in their private world of unspoken affection, lingering gazes, and heart-felt confessions of uncertain futures, Yolanda's grades begin to slip while Mari's focus drifts away from her duties at a new job. Mounting pressures at home collide with their new-found connection, forcing them to choose between their obligations to others and staying true to themselves.

The discussion will be lead by our Allen-Berenson Post-Docotral Fellow in Women's and Gender Studies, Anahi Russo-Garrido, who has her PhD in Women's Studies from Rutgers, and specializes in Sexuality Studies.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present a Women Take the Reel film screening of...

American Revolutionary: The evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
directed and produced by Grace Lee

FRIDAY -- March 14, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [4-270]

What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American woman in Detroit whose vision of revolution will surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.

The documentary film, plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy—her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her—drives the story forward. Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience — the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.

As it kinetically unfurls an evolving life, city, and philosophy, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY takes the viewer on a journey into the power of ideas and the necessity of expansive, imaginative thinking, as well as ongoing dialectical conversation, to propel societal change. In an age when seemingly insurmountable injustices and contradictions face us, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY inspires concerned citizens and dreamers of all ages with new thinking to sustain their struggle and engagement.

82 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Emerson College Visual and Media Arts presents...

Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power
directed by Frieda Lee Mock

TUESDAY -- March 18, 2014
Bright Family Screening Room, Paramount Center
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02116

ANITA tells the story about a young, brilliant African American Anita Hill who accuses the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of unwanted sexual advances during explosive Senate Hearings in 1991 and ignites a political firestorm about sexual harassment, race, power and politics that resonates 20 years later today. ANITA is a dramatic look at the consequences to a private citizen acting out of a civic duty to 'speak truth to power.' For the first time on film Anita Hills speaks about her experience in the Senate Hearings, her impact on issues of sexual harassment, workplace rights for women and men, social justice and equality. The film is about the empowerment of girls and women, and men, through the extraordinary story of Anita Hill.

Q&A and discussion with Liz Walker and Gloria White Hammond to follow film screening.

The Diversity Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, as part of the MIT Women's FIlm Series, presents...

The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars
directed by Noga Ashkenazi

WEDNESDAY -- March 19, 2014
University Hall Amphitheatre (2-150)
Porter Campus, Lesley University
1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge

Walk-ins welcome! Free and Open to the Public!
To RSVP, please contact Beth Chambers at

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 security women’s 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 ambiguous ‘grey area’ that is often invisible within the prison walls, and delve into issues of gender, sexuality, class and race. (Excerpt from

Boston College Women's and Gender Studies Program presents...

directed by Helena Taberna

THURSDAY -- March 20, 2014
Boston College
McGuinn Hall, Auditorium 121

Seen through the eyes of Asun Casasola, mother of Nagore Laffage, we take a look at the woman's life since her daughter was murdered. The crime, committed during Pamplona's San Fermín celebrations in 2008 by a psychiatric intern, shook society and hit the media headlines as never before. The trial took place in November 2009, with the defendant being convicted of manslaughter. Asun, her family, and all those who support them, continue their struggle to see justice done and have the culprit sentenced for murder with intent.

This documentary talks about Nagore's murder, converting it into an emblematic story representing the countless similar cases taking place throughout today's society. The film takes an in-depth look at the specific occurrence helped by the real players in the tale. Interviews with Nagore's relatives and friends give us an idea of the person she was. The participation of lawyers, the Navarre police force and the institutions who brought prosecutions against the killer give an objective view of the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Finally, the film endeavours to reflect life as it is today without Nagore.

The Emerson College film and video program and Bright lights: DER presents...

Postcard From Tora Bora
THURSDAY -- March 20, 2014
Emerson College
Bright family screening room 559 Washington Street

At the height of the Cold War, the Osman family frantically escapes from Afghanistan while leaving almost everything behind. In the ensuing chaos, their only suitcase filled with family photos is stolen. Now after two decades of living in America, Wazhmah Osman, a young Afghan-American woman returns to her childhood home. Armed only with rapidly fading memories, she recruits some unlikely and reluctant guides to put together the pieces of her past.

On an alternately sad and humorous quest, she encounters confused cabbies, the enthusiastic former minister of the tourism bureau, amuseum director that archives land mines, and a group of angry street vendors. As Wazhmah desperately searches for any tangible evidence of her former life, the journey leads her to many unexpected places. Amidst the rubble and destruction, she finds her estranged father who in the aftermath of war choose his country over his family. On the road, Wazhmah frequently finds herself at a strange intersection where cultures clash, identities are mistaken, and the past violently collides with the present.

The filmmakers incorporate recovered Super 8 home movies and family photos that offer a rare and unprecedented look at 1960s and 1970s pre-war Afghanistan. Travel brochures are animated to reveal the country's peaceful past. Drawings by orphan children are animated to illustrate the Soviet invasion and subsequent wars. Interviews with Wazhmah's family and on the ground interviews with shopkeepers, teachers, orphans, and soldiers bring to light Wazhmah's personal journey and the country's current situation.

Q&A with film director Wazhmah Osman to follow.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present a Women Take the Reel film screening of...

directed by Kim Longinotto

FRIDAY -- March 21, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [6-120]

When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.

As with her other work (PINK SARIS, ROUGH AUNTIES, SISTERS IN LAW), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly. SALMA helps us understand why the goal of global education of girls is one the most critical areas of empowerment and development of women worldwide.

89 minutes. Subtitled. Free and open to the public.

Tufts University Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program presents...

Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens
directed by Gabrielle Burton

THURSDAY -- March 27, 2014
Tufts University - Tisch Library Room 304
35 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155

A work-in-progress cut of KINGS, QUEENS, & IN-BETWEENS, a documentary about drag queens and kings in Columbus, Ohio. Through the stories of seven queens, kings, and transgender performers, KQIB considers the fluidity and complexities of gender expression and identity, pulling the audience into an illuminating journey exploring the differences between sex, sexuality, and gender. KQIB presents a modern-day profile of a Midwestern LGBTQIA community and will be the first film to include the entire gender performance spectrum -- kings, queens, trans, and "in-betweeners." In the trail blazed by "Paris is Burning" twenty years ago, this new film offers a chance to move the conversation about gender forward -- an exciting opportunity to consider the practices of drag as tools for social change.

Discussion with Jennifer Burton and Gabrielle Burton of Five Sisters Productions to follow film screening.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present a Women Take the Reel film screening of...

Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer
directed by Barbara Miller

FRIDAY -- March 28, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [4-270]

Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk.

This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.

96 minutes. Subtitled. Free and open to the public.

The BU Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the conference committee for A Revolutionary Moment: Women's Liberation int he Late 1960s and early 1970s present...

Left on Pearl
directed by Susan Rivo

FRIDAY -- March 28, 2014
Time 7:30PM
Location: The Conference Auditorium of the George Sherman Union at 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University

In 1971 classified ads for employment were still segregated by gender, battered women's shelters did not exist, abortion was illegal, and a married women couldn’t open a bank account without her husband’s permission. LEFT ON PEARL is about the movement that changed all that.

LEFT ON PEARL is a documentary-in-progress about a little-known but highly significant event in the history of the women's liberation movement, the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University-owned building by hundreds of Boston area women. The ten-day occupation of 888 Memorial Drive by women demanding a Women’s Center and low income housing for the community in which the building stood, embodied within it many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts and tensions of Second Wave feminism. One of the few such takeovers by women for women, this action was transformative for the participants, and led directly to the establishment of the longest continuously operating Women's Center in the U.S.

Through television news from the time, newspaper headlines, found footage, and extensive interviews with participants and eyewitnesses of varied sexual orientations, racial, class and ethnic backgrounds (including both supporters and opponents of the takeover) LEFT ON PEARL provides a riveting and often humorous look at a fascinating historical moment.

Visit the conference website for detailed screening information.

MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present a Women Take the Reel film screening of...

Off and Running: A Very American Coming of Age Story
directed by Nicole Opper

MONDAY -- March 31, 2014
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, BLDG [6-120]

With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean—Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. She begins staying away from home, starts skipping school, and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring. OFF AND RUNNING follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.

60 minutes. Free and open to the public.

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; Boston University School of Public Health Maternal/Child Health Program; Brandeis University Women’s and Gender Studies Program; Harvard University Women’s Center; 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; Lesley University; and Women Make Movies.