Sunday, November 16, 2014

reporting on what maybe THE film of DOC NYC- SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY

She's Beautiful When She's Angry Trailer from nancy kennedy on Vimeo.

I am beyond beat.

Going back and forth to DOC NYC has really kicked my butt.I'm so tired that I considered skipping the report for today and going for it tomorrow- and then I realized- I had to at least talk about one of the films I saw today because it's what my mom would have wanted.

Had my mom been alive to to see SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY she would have said "Its fucking fantastic". I don't say that for effect I say that because that's what she would have called it. (She was if nothing else always a lady.)

The film is the history of the the Feminist Revolution that began in the 1960's and is still being fought today over issues, such as reproductive rights and child care. Its the story of how the movement started in the 1960's spurred on my the Civil Rights fights and the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. Its all told by the women who were there in the trenches, on the streets and everywhere else fighting for gender equality

For a while while watching the film I was kind of like - yea but I know this-I mean this was the way my mom was- she felt the way these woman felt she did  the things these women did, I mean these were ideas about equality that my mom gave her kids"....

...and then it dawned on me that the reason that my mom felt as she did was because of what these ladies did. These women's struggled and made it okay for my mom to become the woman and really cool human being that she was.

Watching the film and the struggles of the woman I suddenly connected again with my mom and what she was going through during that same period. Mom was suddenly there sitting next to me in the theater.

Personal connection aside this is a damn fine film. Filled with tons of archival footage and all the right talking heads, this film lays out the movement in such away that you not only can't help but learn something while you're   deeply deeply affected- I mean that and I know that. I know it because this is the first film in four years of covering films at DOC NYC where there were cheers and applause and the quiet sounds of weeping all through it.

Yea the audience had many people connected to the film, but it had many more who were not and they too were cheering and applauding.

Seeing this film today was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had in a theater.

Even I was crying my the end-something I continued to do as I dashed out before the Q&A to make another screening (yes Randi I was fighting tears when I tried to call you about this wonderful film).

What I like  about the film, and one of the big strengths of the film is it takes all the stories of all the women, and takes all the struggle threads from equal pay, to sexual harassment and rape, to lesbianism to child raising to abortion and ties them together in to the magical whole.  I love that the film manages to take all these parts and make them into this magical tapestry.

That may not seem like much but there have been a couple of films at DOC NYC and  elsewhere where the whole never materialized. On Friday I saw SALAD DAYS at DOC NYC and the film had all these threads about Punk music in DC. And the threads were all great, but the film never pulled them together, so the film, while interesting, never felt like a complete whole. By the end of SHE'S BEAUTIFUL... not only is it a whole it's a triumph where we understand where we were, how we got to now, and where we may be heading tomorrow- and why the fight still has to be fought.

As I was leaving the theater I was stopped by one of the women in the film, who was also leaving and she asked me what I thought. "I loved it" I said. After I gathered my self and my stuff together and headed out the woman was heading back into the theater and she again asked me "What did you think?"  Again I told her "I loved it, I really loved it"

I don't know what else to say. I loved it.

Its a celebration of those who went before and a rallying cry for those who must come in the future. Its a film that should be shown to every little girl or anyone who doesn't think that causes and movements and political action can change the world-because it can- as one of the women says "Don't tell me things can't be changed, I know it can I saw it happen"

So did I, here's the proof.

The screening is done at DOC NYC but it's coming out shortly into theaters and is an absolute must see.

(dedicated to my mom where ever she is)

Director Mary Dore introduces her film to the DOC NYC audience

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