The Artist and Her Work: A Conversation With Feminist Filmmaker Josephine Decker

Josephine Decker is a feminist filmmaker with a spontaneous heart; she’s concerned with how women are viewed, how they act and how they messily propel themselves outside of traditional tropes. Whether it’s two girls reconnecting at a Balkan folk camp in Butter on the Latch or the farmer’s daughter grappling with isolation and lust in Thou […]

Where the Dancing Dreams of Children With Disabilities Come True

The most powerful words in director Catherine Tambini’s new documentary, Dance with Me, are deceptively simple, spoken by a 15-year-old girl. “My life is not the same as my [best friend’s],” Veronica explains, “but it’s perfectly normal for me.” Ambitious and articulate, Veronica also happens to be living with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her balance, muscle control […]

Think Mormons Can’t Be Feminists? These Women Will Prove You Wrong

A new documentary short is pushing open the doors of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to reveal the Mormon feminists driving a grassroots movement to integrate women into the church’s all-male priesthood. Where We Stand, from filmmaker Kristine Stolakis, offers a powerful counterpoint to the notion that Mormonism and feminism are mutually exclusive. Though Stolakis herself is […]

Not Only Is Oscar So White, He’s Got Some Serious Gender Issues

The recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy drew attention to the lack of diversity in Hollywood and prompted changes to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ membership rules. Producers of the annual awards show, which airs this weekend, also responded by boldly declaring that this year’s event “will be the most diverse ever”—though one look at the latest group […]

5 Ways You Can Help Fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem

Reprinted with permission from the American Association of University Women Last month’s announcement of the 2016 Oscar nominees put Hollywood’s much-debated diversity problem on blast. For the second year in a row, no people of color were nominated in any major acting category. As the conversation continues, activists are rightly pointing out that Hollywood’s issues […]

“Chi-Raq” and Spike Lee’s Bad Feminism

Some critics say Chi-Raq, Spike Lee’s latest feature film, which will be streamable on Amazon Prime next month, is his best in years. For me, the film’s sexual empowerment slant presents an opportunity to revisit the director’s bad “feminism,” his almost uncanny ability to fail at representations of powerful women. And yet, his failures don’t […]

The Lesbian Gaze of “Carol”

Todd Haynes’ film Carol—like the novel The Price of Salt on which it is based—examines the blossoming love between (you guessed it) Carol, a high society, impeccably dressed married mother, and Therese, a younger woman working at Frankenberg’s department store over the Christmas season. Carol, played exquisitely by Cate Blanchett, is navigating the end of […]

The 15 (Or So!) Best Feminist Films of 2015

A nonagenarian fashionista who wears her wrinkles as “a badge of courage.” Two transgender women of color stomping it out in the streets of Hollywood with only their friendship to cling to. A warrior woman risking life and limb to fight for the radical idea that she, and women like her, “are not things.” This […]

Princess Leia’s Feminist Agenda: Yeah, She Had One

Reprinted with permission from The Broad Side In 1977, the year Princess Leia hit the big screen in the original Star Wars movie, the National Women’s Conference was held in Houston with a galactic agenda that included the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), reproductive rights, the nuclear family, child-care funding, sexual orientation and the rights of […]

While Heartfelt, “The Danish Girl” Recycles Tired Trans Tropes

The Danish Girl takes the “touchy” subject of transgender artist Lili Elbe’s life and renders it into a beautifully artistic film. However, rather than unraveling the complexities of transgender identity, the film focuses too literally on touching, on the feel of fabric, hosiery, skin, lipstick, high heels—as if one can “cross” to “the other side” of […]