‘Touch The Wall’ Docu Features A Forgotten Female Trait: Sisterhood

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This is the kind of documentary we need to see more of! ‘Touch The Wall‘ a documentary by Grant Barbeito and Christo Brock, who successfully raised money on Kickstarter (which is fast becoming the go-to platform to get a feature film off the ground-studios go suck it!) to tell the story of two female Olympic athletes.

Swimmers Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce were filmed as they were gearing up for the London 2012 summer Olympic games. Missy broke 2 world records and went home with 4 gold medals. It was her first Olympic games. Not bad for a teenager whose career was only beginning! Kara Lynn was competing in her third Olympic games and went home with 4 silver medals. In contrast to Missy, she was nearing the end of her competitive career.

The film is unique in that it doesn’t just talk about female athletes, it follows the female friendship of two competing athletes, breaking down the stereotype that competitors can’t be best friends. The two girls shared the same coach, Todd Schmitz, and go through a gamut of emotions throughout the feature. It has a limited released, but this is a film we highly encourage our readers to go and see. Why? Because it is not often that we see a piece of media or entertainment that actually promotes female friendship, in a culture where bitchiness and “throwing shade” is the popular thing to do.

“It’s rare and incredibly important to see such a healthy female friendship on screen, especially between two women who are ostensibly competitors,” writes Carolyn Cox in her review of the film on The Mary Sue.

“Rarely are women in film also allowed to be ‘selfish’ without judgement, but for both athletes, knowing how to take care of one’s own needs is a priority–and that makes them incredible role models for young girls. It portrays women in a way that’s not just not seen often on film. If you’re looking for strong female role models or a documentary that respects its subjects, you won’t be disappointed.”

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The idea of sisterhood is largely forgotten and ignored by the media, because it is not sexy, it is not a train wreck or a hot mess, and frankly it doesn’t get ratings. We exist as a media website to reclaim what women should be known for, because we are sick of shows like “Real Housewives Of Wherever” dictating what audiences want to see when they watch women on screen.

All you have to do is scan through various media publications to see where we are going wrong. The headline “Jennifer Garner to Jennifer Lopez: ‘Stop Talking About My Husband Ben Affleck‘” is a prime example. Why is that even news? Who cares if Jennifer Garner said that! If she did, big deal, it’s her prerogative and her private life. We don’t need to grab our popcorn buckets and have a front row seat to something that is none of our business.

Another story that has been getting way too much airtime is the Ariana Granda-Bette Midler “feud”. Yep in case you weren’t aware, celebrity feuds, especially if they are on twitter, are prime time entertainment that do nothing but kill a bunch of our brain cells (you have been warned). Bette Midler, in an interview with the Guardian, was sharing her opinion on the “pornification of pop music” and Bette revealed she doesn’t like how artists such as Ariana Grande feel they need to writhe around on a couch because she has a great voice.

Ariana responded in a tweet taking the high road, praising Bette for her feminism back in the day, showing that women don’t have to be confined to a box. That should’ve been the end of the issue, but no, the media decided it was fair game to promote this as some sort of a bitch fight. Bette Midler simply expressed her views, some of which were very valid, and Ariana responded taking the high road, yet that’s not interesting enough. We MUST make a bigger deal out of this than it is!

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In a recent interview with ASOS magazine, Taylor Swift, feminist hero, talks about the importance of loyalty and why it isn’t the most popular thing to do.

“Loyalty is so important and it isn’t easy because it ruffles feathers. You will not be universally liked if you are loyal to your friends because it means you will always pick their side.”

We don’t have to wait for the media to change it’s attitude. We don’t need to seek validation from a source that exists to primarily reinforce the standard that women are only valued for their physical appearance, and anything else is theirs to dictate. They should take more responsibility for the content they produce, but unfortunately most magazines, websites and publications are a business and click-bait which leads to more advertising and more money seems to be more valued than promoting positivity.

Thank goodness for consumer-driven platforms like Kickstarter which put entertainment back in the hands of people who want to promote more counter-culture messages. Thank goodness for blogging platforms where women and men get to share their opinions away from the corporate mindset and give an unfiltered view of what they really believe in.

If you are looking for a film to show your daughters, to watch with your friends, or simply to find something that exists outside the gender stereotypes of Hollywood, ‘Touch the Wall’ is a fantastic place to start.


 

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