FEMINIST FRIDAY: Feature Films & Documentaries Taking Down The Patriarchy!

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, and as we are in full holiday mode now that November is upon us we’re cozying up around our screens to check out 3 videos that are giving us all the feminist feels this week because they are all about taking down the patriarchy and challenging ingrained gender norms we see in entertainment.

First up this week is a documentary out of India, from director Deepti Gupta, called ‘Shut Up Sona’, chronicling the feminist singer Sona Mohapatra. It is a film about today’s India at odds with the modern Indian woman. It is an intimate journey with Sona who is a singer, performer, and troublemaker by choice! In exploring Sona’s travails, ‘Shut up Sona’ resonates with every woman’s search for an equal space in a culture ridden with millennia of misogyny. While this is a film about music, art, social change and a clashing of the ancient and the modern, it is not a polite film. This is a political film. This is a film about our right to exist, with a voice.

As The Hollywood Reporter points out, this film is Deepti Gupta’s directorial debut as she followed Mohapatra over three years capturing the singer’s various battles with music industry execs as well as documenting her rise to becoming one of the most outspoken voices in India’s #MeToo movement.

“For me she is one of the most inspiring people today because she speaks her mind about everything. Every now and then she is told by people to just sing songs and not talk about other issues. She is trolled all the time for what she says, but she is fearless, she is unapologetic,” Gupta told The Hollywood Reporter. The film made its debut at the Mumbai Film Festival this year. Watch the trailer below:

The second video this week is a trailer for DC’s forthcoming superhero film ‘Birds of Prey’ starring Ewan McGregor as the villainous Black Mask, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Directed by Cathy Yan, the film is described as a female-focused blockbuster for DC, and even the main star recognized the importance of a script that subverts typical superhero tropes to tackle misogyny and patriarchy on screen.

As Cinemablend reported, Ewan McGregor told the press that the feminist script of ‘Birds of Prey’ is what drew him to take the role in the first place.

“What interested me with Birds of Prey is that it’s a feminist film. It is very finely written. There is in the script a real look on misogyny, and I think we need that. We need to be more aware of how we behave with the opposite sex. We need to be taught to change. Misogynists in movies are often extreme: they rape, they beat women…and it is legitimate to represent people like that, because they exist and they are obviously the worst. But in the Birds of Prey dialogues, there is always a hint of everyday misogyny, of those things you say as a man you do not even realize, mansplaining…and it’s in the script in a very subtle way. I found that brilliant,” he said.

The film hits theaters February 2020 and we cannot wait to see this story unfold onscreen!

The final video this week taking on the patriarchy is a documentary called ‘Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over‘ which is set to premiere at the DOC NYC film festival November 9. Directed and produced by the award-winning filmmaker Beth B, this film chronicles the life and work of confrontational multimedia artist Lydia Lunch. Turning trauma into precise and angry feminist rock, American singer, writer and actress Lydia Lunch helped birth the No Wave music scene in the late 1970s and early ’80s—and she’s still killing it today. Fellow No Wave pioneer Beth B constructs a lively portrait of this innovative performer, whose confrontational artistry resonates loudly in today’s feminist landscape.

“In this moment where the desire for powerfully independent and challenging female figures are in the spotlight, this is the ideal time to be acquainted with Lunch, the psycho-sexual transgressive who forged a vocabulary of rare emotional honesty, philosophy and humor. ​In this time of endless attacks on women, of ceaseless war, the film is a story about anyone who has felt that their voice has not been heard, that they have a mouth that they cannot scream from. It is a rallying cry to acknowledge the only thing that is going to bring us together – art – as the universal salve to all of our traumas,” says the description of the film.

Watch the trailer below and get ready to take down the patriarchy!


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