West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Women's History Month (Movies)

Documentaries, biographies, and feature films celebrating strong women from diverse backgrounds.

The legend

In 1921, aviation pioneer Betsy Coleman arose from the poverty of the Texas cotton fields to capture the hearts of the black population of America

Women who changed the world

Inspirational stories of strength, tenacity, and success! Women are taking charge more than ever before. Whether demanding equal pay, assuming leadership positions in government, or making history in film (or even in space), women have blazed new trails across every type of industry over the last sixty years. From the White House and the silver screen to Olympic podiums and equality marches, these fifty women changed the world--blazing the trail while battling adversity. Without each one of their contributions, our world wouldn't be what it is today

Althea : a fascinating look at the trailblazing athlete Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson emerged as a most unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world of the 1950s. Her roots as a sharecropper₂s daughter, her family₂s migration to Harlem, her mentoring from Sugar Ray Robinson, David Dinkins and others, her fame that thrust her unwillingly into the glare of the early Civil Rights movement, all bring the story into a much broader realm of African American history, transcending sports

Women composers . : a cinematic search for their lives

"When Leipzig pianist Kyra Steckeweh realised that her repertoire almost exclusively consisted of music composed by men, she began searching for pieces written by female composers. Her research in archives, libraries, and publishing houses quickly brought to light a variety of remarkable piano pieces that have been buried in history and rarely performed ... the focus of her piano recitals and recordings has since shifted to the music of women composers, particularly Mel Bonis, Lili Boulanger and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel ... The film "Women Composers" highlights the historical and personal circumstances under which these three remarkable women created their works in the 19th and early 20th centuries"--Distributor's website

Bhutto

"A recent Sundance world premiere, Bhutto tells the epic story of one of the most fascinating characters of our time--Benazir Bhutto, the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation. A favored daughter of the family often called the "Kennedys of Pakistan," Benazir was elected Prime Minister after her father was overthrown and executed by his own military. Her two terms in power saw extreme acts of courage and controversy as she tried to clean up Pakistan's corrupt political culture while quelling the fires of radical Islam that threaten to engulf the region. A fascinating array of archival footage and interviews with family members and leading experts brings life to this tale of Shakespearean dimension in the country The Economist calls the world's most dangerous place"--Container. DVD format

And she could be next

The documentary follows a defiant movement of women of color as they transform politics from the ground up. Filmed during the historic 2018 midterm elections, the series follows organizers and candidates (including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams) as they fight for a truly reflective government, asking whether democracy can be preserved, and made stronger, by those most marginalized

Denise Ho : becoming the song

Chronicles the life and career of openly gay Hong Kong singer and human rights activist, Denise Ho

Not for ourselves alone : the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony

Presents the history of women's suffrage in the United States through the dramatic, often turbulent friendship of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Anthony. Part 1 covers the years from their youth up to the establishment of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1868. Part 2 spans the period from 1868 to the passage in 1919 of the 19th amendment to the Constitution which gave women the vote

Hidden figures .

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes

Shirley Chisholm : first African American congresswoman

Profiles the life and career of Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first to campaign for the U.S. presidency. Her legacy of political and social activism laid the foundation for the rise of women and Blacks in American politics

Mankiller : Activist, feminist, Cherokee chief

"This is the story of an American hero and legend, one who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. -- and yet few people know her name. Wilma Mankiller is someone who humbly defied the odds to fight injustice and give a voice to the voiceless. She overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first female Principal Chief in 1985. MANKILLER examines the legacy of the formidable Wilma Mankiller and reunites the documentary team of Gale Anne Hurd and Valerie Red-Horse Mohl for their third and most powerful film." -- Good Docs website [https://www.gooddocs.net/mankiller]

The black American experience. Black women in America & their fight for voting rights.

The battles for African American women fought 100 years ago for a constitutional right and against segregationist and discriminatory Jim Crow laws in the South echo today as American women continue to work against voter suppression and for full access to the polls. During The nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Black women played an active role in the struggle for universal suffrage. They participated in political meetings and organized political societies, as well as attended political conventions at their local churches where they planned strategies to gain the right to vote

Inspiring women

Each vignette within this documentary presents different and unique personalities of women who have changed parts of the entertainment industry

Writing with fire

A fearless group of journalists maintain India's only women-led news outlet. All from the Dalit caste, the women of Khabar Lahariya prepare to transition the newspaper from print to digital while fighting for marginalized voices in the world's largest democracy. The film chronicles the astonishing determination of these reporters as they redefine what it means to be powerful

Mama Africa

Mama Africa is the biography of the South African singer, Miriam Makeba, who was the first black, African musician to win international stardom. Her music influence artists across the globe, although her style stayed anchored in her South African roots. Makeba was also a vocal campaigner against apartheid. After her involvement with the 1959 documentary "Come back Africa" she was forced into a life in exile from her homeland. This documentary traces her life and music through more than fifty years of performing

Ruth : Justice Ginsburg in her own words

Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in her own Words tells the improbable story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who couldn't get a job despite graduating first in her law school class in a tie and making Law Review at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. It also reveals both the public and private sides of a resilient, resourceful woman who has survived the hostility of the profoundly male universe of government and law to become a revered Justice and icon for gender equality and women's rights

Picture a scientist : the fight for gender equity in science

Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But a growing group of researchers is exposing longstanding discrimination and making science more inclusive

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

It tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line

Irena Sendler : in the name of their mothers

This is the story of 29-year-old Irena Sendler, who saw the suffering of Warsaw's Jews, reached out to her most trusted colleagues for help, and outwitted the Nazis during World War II. Together, they rescued over 2,500 Jewish children. Expertly captured is the will and character of the women of the resistance against the backdrop of occupied Poland

The vote

One hundred years after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, it tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in US history

Amy Tan : unintended memoir

Born to Chinese immigrant parents into 1950's America, it would be decades before Ms. Tan would come to fully understand how her mother's self-destructive tendencies were rooted in watching her own mother kill herself after being forced into the former marital system of concubinage. This painful family legacy inspired her stories of women without the power to choose their lives. An interweaving of archival imagery, artful animation and live performance from Ms. Tan form the basis for this documentary that allows the audience to journey through Ms. Tan's life and career in vivid, living colors

Toni Morrison : the pieces I am

An artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio to '70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics, and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin .

"Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a feature documentary exploring the remarkable life and legacy of the late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin ... Produced with Le Guin's participation over the course of a decade, Worlds of Ursual K. Le Guin is a journey through the writer's career and her worlds, both real and fantastic. Viewers will join the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way"--Back of container

Frida Kahlo

Come on a journey through the life of one of the most prevalent female icons: Frida Kahlo. She was a prolific self-portraitist, using the canvas as a mirror through all stages of her turbulent and, at times, tragic life. Guided by interviews, commentary, and Frida's own words, Exhibition on Screen uncovers that this, however, was not a life defined by tragedy. Featuring key exhibitions and interviews with world-renowned Kahlo curators, Exhibition On Screen explores the extraordinary symbolism and themes in these personal canvases to seek a deeper understanding of the real Frida Kahlo. Displaying a treasure trove of color and a feast of vibrancy on screen, this personal and intimate film offers privileged access to her works and highlights the source of her feverish creativity, her resilience, and her unmatched lust for life, men, women, politics, and her cultural heritage

How it feels to be free : how six American female performers challenged the entertainment industry

Take an unprecedented look at the intersection of African American women artists, politics and entertainment and hear the story of how six trailblazing performers - Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier - changed American culture through their films, fashion, music, and politics

A ballerina's tale : the incredible rise of Misty Copeland

This documentary follows Misty Copeland's rise as a dancer in the American Ballet Theatre

Enemy of the Reich : the Noor Inayat Khan story

In 1943, Noor Inayat Khan was recruited as a covert operative into Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive. With an American mother and Indian Muslim father, she was an extremely unusual British agent. After her network collapsed, Khan became the only surviving radio operator linking the British to the French Resistance in Paris, coordinating the airdrop of weapons and agents, and the rescue of downed Allied fliers. Betrayed, she was sent to Germany where she was executed at Dachau

Tina

"With a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, TINA presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner. Everything changed when Tina began telling her story, a story of trauma and survival, that gave way to a rebirth as the record-breaking queen of rock ‘n’ roll. But behind closed doors, the singer struggled with the survivor narrative that meant her past was never fully behind her

A league of their own

In 1943, a washed-up ballplayer is hired to coach in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League while the male pros are at war. Reluctant at first, he finds himself drawn back into the game by the heart and heroics of his team. Based on a true story

Bombshell : the Hedy Lamarr story

What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and '40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and Bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII

Anita : speaking truth to power

The story of Anita Hill, who has empowered millions to stand up for equality and justice

Jane

An interview with Jane Goodall, who spent several decades studying chimpanzees in their natural habitat in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, and a look back over her life and career as a primatologist, animal rights advocate, and environmental activist

Barbara Lee . : speaking truth to power

With unique access to a sitting member of Congress, this documentary tells the complex story of Rep. Barbara Lee, a steadfast voice for human rights, peace, and economic and racial justice. She was the lone vote in opposition to the broad authorization of military force following the September eleventh attacks and is the highest-ranking African American woman in the United States Congress

Bessie

Bessie Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into 'The Empress of the Blues', who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and is an enduring icon today

Women of impact : changing the world

It all starts with one question: How will they make the world a better place? From household names to rising stars, meet the women who are changing the world. They live among primates in the jungle, dive the oceans for clues to the health of the planet, discover human origins in African caves, and test new technologies in outer space

The Go-Go's

The candid and archive-rich documentary assesses the group's place in music history and offers full access to The Go-Go's, including past members as well as longtime members of their inner circle. With their roots in the L.A. punk scene, they were bad girls and genuine punk rockers, and this serious appraisal of their story is the first to set the record straight about their historical ascent to global stardom. A major highlight of the film focuses on their collaborative efforts in writing a new song, the female empowerment anthem 'Club Zero, ' which became the first Go-Go's single in nearly 20 years and hit the Top Ten on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart

Suffragette

Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life

Julia

The film brings to life the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the film traces Julia Child's twelve year struggle to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, and her rapid ascent to become the country's most unlikely television star. It's the empowering story of a woman who found her purpose, and her fame, at 50, and took America along on the whole delicious journey

Iron jawed angels

A fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, telling the true story of how a pair of defiant and brilliant young activists took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk

Her name is Chef .

"Her Name is Chef showcases the stories of six amazingly talented, inspiring, females of the kitchen. Each shares their triumphs in cutting through the clichés of the restaurant industry, and explore how they broke down the doors to 'earn' the title of Chef." --container

Queen of Katwe

Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion

On the basis of sex .

The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who overcame gender inequalities in order to become a Supreme Court Justice

Frida

The life of artist Frida Kahlo, from her humble upbringing to her worldwide fame and controversy that surrounded both her and her husband, Diego Rivera

Becoming Helen Keller

Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind since early childhood, was a passionate advocate for change, using her celebrity and wit to champion rights for women, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty. Becoming Helen Keller examines the complex legacy of this author, advocate, lecturer, and human rights pioneer

Billie Jean King

Presents through interviews and archival footage the life of Billie Jean King, tennis player and advocate for sociopolitical equality for women and the LGBT community

I danced for the angel of death : the Dr. Edith Eva Eger story

"At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele forced her to dance for his amusement—and this dance turned into her survival. Born in 1927 in Kosice, Slovakia, where she lived with her parents and two older sisters, Magda and Klara, Edith Eger lived a typical Jewish life. After moving to Budapest, Hungary, Edith and her family were put on a cattle car to Auschwitz as part of the Final Solution in 1944. Klara, a violin prodigy who 'didn't look Jewish,' was hidden by her music professor and continued to perform during the war. Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Edie's parents were immediately murdered, and she spent her entire incarceration with her older sister Magda. Most chillingly, Edie had at least two interactions with 'the Angel of Death,' Dr. Joseph Mengele: the first when he tore her away from her mother with the promise that 'your mother is going to take a shower and you'll see her soon' and the second when he discovered she was a ballerina and gymnast and demanded she dance for him. The bread she received for dancing was shared with fellow prisoners who remembered this act of kindness and saved her life later in her story. A few months after Auschwitz, Edie was placed in full prisoner garb on top of a munitions train as a human shield to keep the British from bombing (it didn't work) and, after a brief stint at Mauthausen, was placed on a forced death march to Gunskirchen Lager where cannibalism had just broken out. Dr. Eger, now a bestselling author, tells her own story in this striking documentary."--container

Whitney

Whitney Houston is a musical icon, known for such hit songs as "How Will I Know," "I Will Always Love You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)." Her debut album, "Whitney Houston," set industry records as the best-selling debut album for a female singer. The documentary follows her life and career, culminating in her untimely death at the age of 48. Her friends and family describe their relationship with the singer and her private struggles

Venus and Serena

An unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. With unprecedented access, the film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the top

Codebreaker

It tells the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work decoding thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. A suburban wife and mother who led a secret double life, her remarkable contributions to the science of cryptology would only come to light decades after her death when classified government files were unsealed. But together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the codebreaking methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today

Suzi Q

Story of trailblazing American rock singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro, who helped redefine the role of women in rock 'n' roll when she broke out in 1973

The woman who loves giraffes : the story of Anne Innis Dagg

In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild

Beyond the visible : Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting. The subject of a recent smash retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, af Klint was for years an all-but-forgotten figure in art historical discourse, before her long-delayed rediscovery

Chichinette : the accidental spy

An inspiring documentary that tells the story of Marthe Cohn, a feisty young woman who joined the French Army during WWII after Hitler's rise power. After keeping silent for almost 60 years, Marthe now shares the extraordinary story of how she managed to beat the odds and fight the Nazis as a spy after her family fled to the south of France, and a sister was sent to Auschwitz

Be natural : the untold story of Alice Guy-Blache

Pamela B. Green's energetic film about the pioneer filmmaker is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation

Raise hell : the life and times of Molly Ivins

A biography of journalist Molly Ivins. The story of media firebrand Molly Ivins, six feet of Texas trouble who took on Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Her razor-sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing, and craving ink in her columns. She knew the Bill of Rights was in peril and said 'Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.' Molly's words have proved prescient

Maiden

The true story of skipper Tracy Edwards and the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World race

My letter to the world

An in-depth exploration of the life and work of the great American poet Emily Dickinson

Binge box . Women's history

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