Newsletter for week of January 25th, 2018

Women Take to the Streets

 Women join together to make a stand against inequality, oppression, and sexual assault. 

Women join together to make a stand against inequality, oppression, and sexual assault. 

This past weekend, women and men across the globe came together to demonstrate in solidarity, determined to continue forcing change for Women's Rights and Human Rights.

Hoping to build upon the success of last year, when over 6 million people marched in all seven continents, the Women's March 2018 pledged to ''Look Back, March Forward''.

Under this slogan, organisers are hoping to inspire people to not only march, but to engage and take part in direct action in their local communities to effect global change.

Last year saw an amplification of women's voices on the global stage, with the Time's Up campaign to end harassment and systemic inequalities in the workplace, and the explosion of the #metoo anti-sexual harassment campaign.

The Women's March is specifically committed to promoting Women's health, economic security, representation and safety. However, they are also proving to be a crucial convener of women, bringing together diverse groups to create a unified movement.
 

To learn more about the Women's March and Time's Up

 
 Cinema for Peace Laudation Speaker (2015) Natalie Portman at a Women's March in Los Angeles, California, 2018.

Cinema for Peace Laudation Speaker (2015) Natalie Portman at a Women's March in Los Angeles, California, 2018.

 
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Jane (2017) 

This film explores the life and work of the renowned primatologist, Jane Goodall, particularly  examining her research about chimpanzees. In addition to highlighting Goodall's many great achievements, the documentary also serves as a chronicle of the struggles women face in this highly male-dominated industry.

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A Fantastic Woman (2017) 

Marina, a waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the unexpected death of her older boyfriend, Orlando. Instead of being allowed to mourn her lover, Marina is treaded with suspicion, investigated, and forbidden from attending the funeral. As a trans-women, her sexual identity is treated as a pervesion, an aberration, by Orlando's family. Marina struggles for the right to be herself, battling the same forces she has battled her whole life.

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The Post (2017) 

A cover up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. This film chronicles the Washington Post's effort in 1971 to publish the incendiary Pentagon Papers, despite objections by the US government.

 

The Post Proves Relevant to Women Today

 
 Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s  The Post.  By Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox.

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. By Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox.

 

The latest directorial piece from Steven Spielberg appears to have taken influence not only from Spotlight's (2015) tale of the power of investigative journalism, but also from the increased calls globally for equality for women.

In addition to examining issues pertaining to the freedom of the press, The Post (2017) also examines the workplace atmosphere of the time. Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham, who, as Publisher of the Washington Post, becomes the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. 

Working with the paper's Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, portrayed by Tom Hanks, Graham has to overcome not only the pressure from the US government to not publish the Pentagon Papers, but also the rampant workplace sexism.

Although Graham is symbolically respected as being in charge, she nevertheless experiences moments that continue to be all too familiar to many working women - being interrupted, being spoken over and having your ideas repeated by somebody else.

The film's release was timely in a year that was largely defined by women speaking out against these ingrained power dynamics, which have for too long enabled everything from the most basic of inequalities to sexual harassment and assault.

Cinema Peace