Welcome to another Feminist Friday column! That time of the week where we depart from our regular scheduled content and gather around to fangirl over our fave videos of the week, centered around a feminist theme. This week we’re checking out trailers to some very important timely documentaries which tackle some of the biggest issues and movements of our time.
First up is ‘Untouchable’, a Hulu original documentary from director Ursula Macfarlane, which looks at arguably one of the biggest Hollywood scandals of the modern era, and which led to the current iteration of the #MeToo movement.
“The inside story of the rise and fall of Harvey Weinstein reveals how, over decades, he acquires and protects his power even as scandal threatens to engulf him. Former colleagues and accusers detail the method and consequences of his alleged abuse, hoping for justice and to inspire change,” says the description.
As Variety describes, the title “plays on Weinstein’s elevated status in the movie business….[and] turns that word against Weinstein, empowering his accusers while also holding those who’d been complicit in his crimes accountable.” Watch the trailer below, and be sure to catch the full feature documentary starting September 2.
The second video tackles a topic that has been described as the most urgent issue of our time – climate change. Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, ‘This Changes Everything‘ is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.
Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller ‘This Changes Everything’, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
As described on the website, throughout the powerful documentary viewers will become familiar with the following characters:
Crystal, a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country, as she fights for access to a restricted military base in search of answers about an environmental disaster in progress.
Mike and Alexis, a Montana goat ranching couple who see their dreams coated in oil from a broken pipeline. They respond by organizing against fossil fuel extraction in their beloved Powder River Basin, and forming a new alliance with the Northern Cheyenne tribe to bring solar power to the nearby reservation.
Melachrini, a housewife in Northern Greece where economic crisis is being used to justify mining and drilling projects that threaten the mountains, seas, and tourism economy. Against the backdrop of Greece in crisis, a powerful social movement rises.
Jyothi, a matriarch in Andhra Pradesh, India who sings sweetly and battles fiercely along with her fellow villagers, fighting a proposed coal-fired power plant that will destroy a life-giving wetland. In the course of this struggle, they help ignite a nationwide movement.
The film was originally released in 2015, but given the increase in political and social action around this issue the past few years, it has become more timely than ever and being viewed by more people. Available on Youtube, Amazon Prime and itunes, watch the trailer below:
The final video this week is one in a series of videos for a campaign created by Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures organization called #EqualityCantWait. it was inspired by a recent World Economic Forum blog post, which projected that, at the current pace of change, it will take the United States another 208 years to achieve gender equality. That should be an unacceptable number to every one of us!
The reason we felt this video was important to share along with the two documentary trailers is because of the indelible connection between gender inequality and major issues such as sexual assault and yes, even climate change (which disproportionately affects women, especially low-income, and women of color).
“That’s 208 years in which women’s opportunities will be limited and the U.S. will be robbed of the full benefit of women’s talent and ingenuity. Every one of those years is one year too many,” says the campaign website, which identifies 4 key areas where inequality needs to be tackled the most: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, and education.
Melinda Gates has teamed up with a handful of comedians such as Maya Rudolph, Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman, Uzo Aduba, Ilana Glazer and more to spell out why this is a topic that everyone needs to pay attention to. Watch the introduction video below: