In “Chi-Raq,” Women’s Only Power is Between their Legs

Reprinted with permission from the Chicago Tribune Chi-raq. The first time I heard this term I was working as a trauma physician in an emergency room on Chicago’s West Side, where bullets sometimes fly like gnats decorating the summer skies. It was part of the landscape of the gang violence so often featured on TV. Gruesome […]

Why This Film About Pre-WWI London Rings Too True Today

“You have to see this movie,” I had intended to implore everyone I know. I intended to post the trailer on Facebook with this command: Go see this movie! But then I saw the movie. And haven’t been able to recommend it to anyone. I can’t. Because I felt nauseous throughout most of it. Not […]

Final “Hunger Games” Film Ends on a Low Note, But JLaw Still Soars

Mockingjay — Part 2, the final film of The Hunger Games series, is more of an action flick than any of the other iterations. Yet, thanks to its condemnation of greed, its depiction of oil as a killer bent on drowning all in its wake, its satirizing of news as infotainment propaganda and its denunciation […]

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 Sex-Trafficking Survivor Who’s Battling Prostitution

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 […]