FEMINIST FRIDAY Watch Acclaimed Documentaries By & About Extraordinary Women From Around The Globe In June

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday! That time of the week where we gather around our virtual campfires and fangirl over a handful of video content we can’t get enough of right now, centered around a feminist theme.

As the news of extended quarantine periods into summer for some countries and cities sinks in, we’re using the time to watch films that continue to inspire us about the world and what the future may hold. In June, international film and television distribution and sales group Syndicado, based in Toronto, Canada, is releasing four acclaimed and award-winning documentaries on VOD in North America starting June 2 on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Vimeo. Three out of the four films are directed by female filmmakers, but each film tells stories about extraordinary women from all walks of life and generations, from millennials to Baby Boomers, and from around the globe.

All four films allow audiences to live vicariously through these very different women, and it’s only fitting to start on Tuesday, June 2 with Pia Hellenthal’s “Searching Eva”, the provocative story of a young person who uses the Internet to share their in the public eye. 

We also follow two women in search of answers to mysterious happenings in their lives: On Tuesday, June 9 in “Born in Evin”, director Maryam Zaree is on a quest to find out the violent circumstances surrounding her birth inside one of the most notorious political prisons in the world in Iran. On Tuesday, June 16 in Jaak Kilmi and Gints Grube’s “My Father the Spy”, many years after Ieva Lešinska-Geibere (an award-winning translator and one of the key names in literary journalism today) defected with her father from Latvia to the U.S. in 1978, she sets out on a journey to retrace the accounts of their past, confronting family secrets, lies and betrayal.

Last but not least, on Tuesday, June 30, Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin’s 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award winner “Scheme Birds” is a tender, yet magnetic coming-of-age tale of Gemma, a soon-to-be mother on the verge of adulthood in a fading steel town in Scotland.

First up, “Searching Eva”.

[Quick disclaimer note: director Pia Hellenthal recently explains that Eva transitioned to Adam after the film came out and does not mind being referred to as Eva/she in the context of the film as he (Adam) was Eva then.]

“I dedicate my life to showing the world that one can pretend to be whoever they want,” says Eva Collé, the protagonist of Pia Hellenthal’s enthralling documentary. Eva, 25, drifter, Berliner, pet-owner, poet, lesbian, sex worker, virgo, housewife, addict, feminist, model, declared privacy an outdated concept at the age of 14. This is the tale of a young person growing up in the age of the internet, turning the search for oneself into a public spectacle, challenging you on what a woman “should be.”

Searching Eva Trailer from Syndicado on Vimeo.

Next up is “Born in Evin”.

Follow filmmaker and actress Maryam Zaree on her quest to find out the violent circumstances surrounding her birth inside one of the most notorious political prisons in the world. Exactly 40 years have passed since the monarchy of the Shah of Iran was toppled and the Islamic Republic declared. In the 1980’s Ayatollah Khomeini, the so-called religious leader, had tens of thousands of political opponents arrested, persecuted and murdered. Among them the filmmaker’s parents who, after years in prison, managed to seek asylum in Germany. The family never talked about their persecution and imprisonment. Zaree faces the decades-long silence and explores her own questions about the place and the circumstances of her birth.

BORN IN EVIN – Trailer from Syndicado on Vimeo.

Next is “My Father The Spy”.

As a young Soviet student in 1978, Ieva Lešinska-Geibere could not have predicted that a holiday visit to her father, Imants Lešinskis, then working in the Soviet mission at the United Nations in New York City, would irreversibly split her life in two. Entangled in a dark spy game, Leva is forced to leave her former life behind, never to see her mother or her homeland of Latvia again. Pulling back the curtain on the shady behind-the-scenes world of the Cold War, this film tells a daughter’s dramatic story of her double-agent father, exploring their relationship against the backdrop of events which have their roots over four decades ago. In order to find herself and understand the game she was part of, Leva sets out on a journey to the past, confronting family secrets, lies and betrayal.

My Father The Spy – Trailer from Syndicado on Vimeo.

And finally this week, “Scheme Birds”.

“Scheme Birds” bursts with the frustration of a generation of Scots let down by society’s promises. We see the fading steel town through the eyes of Gemma, a soon-to-be mother on the verge of adulthood. In a place where you “either get knocked up or locked up,” Gemma carves out brief moments of tenderness amidst the violence of her local scheme.

Scheme Birds – Trailer from Syndicado on Vimeo.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Films That Remind Us Why More Women's Stories Deserve To Be Heard - GirlTalkHQ

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