Author: Emili Ema Sedlar
When pitching out ideas about feminism, there is so much to bring out to your children: the history of feminism, why people become feminists, what does it mean to be a feminist today in the era of political, economic and social sexism, who are feminists artists, what do they represent, and how does their artwork change men’s views on feminism, how does the Weinstein scandal add up to this topic. Of course, in order to create specific categories and timeliness of discussions, it is vital to start from scratch and clarify to your kids how the basic ideas of feminism were formed and what did it mean in that definite period, thus comparing it to 2017/2018, where suddenly, everybody started to talk about feminism, either in a positive or in a negative way.
Therefore, documentary films are a brilliant way to seriously come up with the concepts of feminism through time and ways how people have told their stories. Below is a list of top 5 profoundly distinctive documentary films that deal with precise feminist topics: campus rape, art, politics and feminism, the influence and correlation between popular culture, social media and adolescent girls are just some provocative topics some of these films touch upon on.
Women Art Revolution (2010) is a fun film about the women’s art movement in the late 60’s and the struggle to promote their artwork just because of their sex. It starts with a daring message, where the film director Lynn Hershman Leeson asks random people in front of a museum to list at least three female artists. It is shocking to discover that none were able to name them, thus the film exposes amazing and fearless female artists that have come out in the 60s and are fighting their ways to educate others about the purpose of the movement and how difficult it was to establish their female artistic signatures.
This is definitely a film where young students will be challenged to name female artists around the world that have created a significant impact in promoting a political and social point, especially during the times when second wave feminism became popular.
The Hunting Ground (2015) reveals the faces of victims of sexual assault on college campuses, in which they open on how they’ve been treated unjustly by their dean and administration. This documentary film, which has been highly recognized by activists, the media, and educators asks important questions, such as „Why do many walk away when a woman talk about her sexual assault story? “, „How can we raise awareness on this subject? “, and finally, „How can we protect and prepare young women for a world where this is happening every day? “. The film perfectly illustrates the epidemic young women face, the prejudice they experience after being sexually harassed and the consequences when they’re ignored, such as suicide.
This is one of the most meaningful films to propose to your children today. It covers shocking statistics, stories of both the victims and their parents and reasons by many activists to why this happens and how can we educate young people about this issue in a matter where they too will question their own skepticism of sexual assault.
Hot Girls Wanted (2015) is a shocking film about Florida’s amateur porn industry through the eyes of five young women and how easy it is to become a porn star in the digital era. Even though many may raise eyebrows because of the topic of the film, the film touches upon subjects such as to which extent do social media influencers impact the lives of young women, how come many young girls decide to go into a very dark industry that manipulates and uses young girls and the way how the media can negatively influence self-image of adolescent girls. These are some of the important topics parents and educators have to discuss with girls.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014) analyzes the historical context of the second wave feminist movement in the United States. Since second wave feminism deals with women and their own purpose in society, it elaborates how women have started to speak out for birth control, pay gap, and fighting against domestic violence. This colorful film is an excellent example tool for your adults to compare the ways how this has functioned before and how even today, many women have to fight, for example, abortion rights and receiving justice after physical, emotional and psychological abuse.
Audrie and Daisy (2016) follows an intimate story of two young high school girls from different cities that have been raped by their close male friends. The film explores life after sexual assault, in which both girls become victims of online harassment and bullying. It shows how difficult it can become when opening up about sexual assault, thus how there is a level of stigma and shame women face today when trying to raise awareness through their own stories.
From the Author: My name is Emili Ema Sedlar and I am a journalist from Croatia. It is such an honor to be volunteering for Women’s Rights News and bringing out new ideas about today’s issues in society. I am a college student, majoring in journalism and communications. In the past few years, I have been an activist in the fields of education, HIV, immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, focusing mostly on stories that are unique and different. I have published my journalistic works on many Croatian news sites and for over a year, I’ve been a writer for Positive Women’s Network-USA.