The Film That’s Taking on Campus Rape—And Winning


The Hunting Ground, a documentary directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering—the team behind The Invisible War—has received critical acclaim for bringing new light to the campus rape crisis facing schools across the country, and breaking the silence on sexual assault reports suppressed by college officials. Since its release in February, The Hunting Ground has screened at more than 700 universities, high schools, […]

Women and the Big Picture: New Study Reveals Gender Bias in Film Production


The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University has released a new report that finds films with a female director employ more women in behind-the-scenes roles—such as writers, producers, editors and cinematographers—than those helmed by men. Women and the Big Screen, a first-of-its-kind study by Martha Lauzen, examined behind-the-scenes employment of over 5,800 […]

Fearless Feminist Reporter Nellie Bly Hits the Big Screen


Modern-day news consumers have long forgotten about 19th-century reporter Nellie Bly, despite the fact that she was the most impressive journalist of her time. Feminist, adventurer and ultimate risk-taker, she traveled around the world in 72 days, and pushed her way to the top of the male-dominated news industry. But she did her most impressive […]

Meet the Former Sex Worker Who’s Battling Prostitution

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Toward the end of award-winning director Kim Longinotto’s new documentary, Dreamcatcher, the film’s subject, Brenda Myers-Powell, stands onstage in front of a room full of mostly women. Confident, passionate and determined, Brenda speaks to the gathered conference attendees and encourages them to keep an open mind. She’s brought a guest, Homer, a former pimp and sex trafficker, […]

How Chanel and Tribeca’s New Program for Women Filmmakers Falls Short


Just a few years ago, not many people were aware that the employment numbers of women directors in America was “criminally low.” The discussion about the exclusion and censorship of female voices from our nation’s media had not yet taken hold. Today, thanks to the powerful support of the ACLU and a strong surge of […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 9: Be Careful What You Wish For


Apparently the spirits of Halloween can be quick to respond this time of year, because no sooner did I wish for a Gothic horror-based film that enables its young heroine to save herself and even her family without the help of men, whether dead or alive, than I found one on Netflix: Haunter, starring Abigail Breslin, is this […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 8: Beware of Crimson Peak


Author’s Note: If the thing that scares you most is disagreement among feminists, you might not want to read this post—fellow feminist film buff Natalie Wilson gave this movie a glowing review on the Ms. Blog last week. Surely a well-cast hex or two will bring Ms. Wilson over to my side… I am the first […]

10 Awesome Feminist Films From the ’90s


The 1990s were a decade of witchy fashion, Tamagotchis, glitter pens and pop stars. Although many glorious (or terrible—you decide) trends came out of the ’90s, my all-time favorite was, hello, riot grrrl and other ’90s-era feminisms. During that decade, many artists used film as a tool to critically examine political and social issues using a feminist lens. Although some […]

Guillermo Goes Gothic in the Grrrl-Powered Crimson Peak


WARNING: SPOILERS Forget the phallic-tongued vampires populating The Strain and go for the sumptuously Gothic Crimson Peak. As with Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a woman-centered and driven narrative brimming with claustrophobic imagery and red-hued horror. While Pan’s Labyrinth incorporated fairytale structure and imagery to tell a political tale of post-civil war Spain, Crimson Peak draws on the gothic genre to meditate on the dangers of inherited class privilege. More […]

Freeheld Beautifully Captures the Notion that “Love Is Love”


Love is forged in small moments. Like ragged bits of bottles polished into sea glass, Freeheld‘s lead characters, Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), are rugged and tough, tumbled unwittingly by societal pressures and personal illness into gems fighting for LGBTQ equality. In one early scene in the film—which is based on the true […]