March is Women’s History Month in the United States (corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8). To celebrate, we want to recommend a few films from our DVD and streaming video collection, Kanopy. With Spring Break just around the corner, there is no better time than now to dive into our media resources and binge on films produced by and about women! (Note: Accessing the Kanopy films below require a myLMU login and password)
Political Animals: Pioneering Women Who Paved the Way for LGBT Equality
Political Animals celebrates the legendary civil rights victories of the first four openly gay elected California state politicians – who were all women: Carole Migden, Sheila Kuehl, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe. Documenting the tough struggles they endured, the film celebrates their pioneering success in the fight for Equality, and the sweet victories these unforgettable women created to pave the way for lasting and significant social change.
Women in Space
Makers: Women in Space traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts–the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez, who continue to make small but significant steps forward.
Half the Road: The Passion, Pitfalls and Power of Women’s Professional Cycling
Directed by pro cyclist Kathryn Bertine, Half the Road explores the world of women’s professional cycling, focusing on both the love of sport and the pressing issues of inequality that modern-day female athletes face in male dominated sports. With footage from some of the world’s best races to interviews with Olympians, World Champions, rookies, coaches, officials, doctors and family members, Half the Road offers a unique insight to the drive, dedication, and passion it takes for a female cyclist to thrive.
The Empathy Gap: Masculinity and the Courage to Change
In The Bro Code and Generation M, filmmaker Thomas Keith examined how American culture bombards young men with sexist and misogynistic messages. In The Empathy Gap, he looks more closely at the ways these messages short-circuit men’s ability to empathize with women, respect them as equals, and take feminism seriously.
Maya Angelou : And Still I Rise (available on DVD)
Poet, storyteller, actress, dancer, and passionate activist Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Hers was a prolific life in which she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos that show her impact on the world. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.
Regina (available on DVD)
Diana Groó’s poetic documentary tells the story of Regina Jonas (1902-1944), a strong woman who made history by becoming the first properly ordained woman rabbi in the world. The daughter of an Orthodox Jewish peddler, Jonas grew up in Berlin’s Scheunenviertel, studied at the liberal Hochschule fur̈ die Wissenschaft des Judentums (College for the Scientific Study of Judaism) beginning in 1924, and was ordained in 1935. During the Nazi era and the war, her sermons and her unparalleled dedication brought encouragement to the persecuted German Jews. Regina Jonas was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. The only surviving photo of Jonas serves as a leitmotif for the film, showing a determined young woman gazing at the camera with self-confidence.
Special thanks to Circulation Services Librarian Rhonda Rosen for putting together this list of recommendations!