Grrrl film club 2013 - 2014

GRRRL Film Club | Half the Sky | Tue, January 28, 4pm – 6pm

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity. @The ARTS at Marks Garage


GRRRL Film Club | Las Martas | Tue, February 11, 4pm – 6pm

In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration. @The ARTS at Marks Garage


GRRRL Film Club | Who cares about Kelsey | Tue, February 25, 4pm – 6pm

Who Cares About Kelsey? follows Kelsey through the ups and downs of her senior year. As the film delves into Kelsey's life, we watch her navigate the halls and classrooms of her school and the fraught terrain of family and romantic relationships. Kelsey interacts with a military father who questions her account of the past and dismisses her plans for the future. She manages her relationship with a mother trying to atone for past failures that set in motion some of Kelsey's most destructive behaviors. She spends much of her time with a boyfriend she cherishes but whose loyalty and support for Kelsey's newly forming independence are uncertain.Who Cares About Kelsey? will make viewers reconsider the "problem kids" in their own high schools and spark new conversations about an education revolution that's about empowering--not overpowering--our most emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth. @The ARTS at Marks Garage.


GRRRL Film Club | Daisy Bates | Tue, March 11, 4pm – 6pm

In 1957, Daisy Bates became a household name when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bates's public support culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. As head of the Arkansas NAACP, and protector of the nine students, Daisy Bates would achieve instant fame as the drama played out on national television and in newspapers around the world. But that fame would prove fleeting and for her attempts to remain relevant, she would pay a hefty price. @The ARTS at Marks Garage


GRRRL Film Club | Patsy Mink | Tue, March 25, 4pm – 6pm

PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY explores the remarkable political story of Patsy Takemoto Mink, an Asian American woman from Hawai‘i who, battling racism and sexism, redefined American politics. Small in stature but a giant in vision, she began her life on a Maui sugar plantation and rose to become the first Asian American woman and woman of color in the United States Congress. A firecracker and a fighter, she continually pushed the limits of what was acceptable, speaking out against the Vietnam War and entering the 1972 presidential primary, making her one of the first women to seek the nation’s highest office. She transformed America’s schools as the co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to women. The film goes beyond Mink’s accomplishments, however, to reveal a woman whose political journey was lonely and tumultuous. Dispelling stereotypes of the compliant Japanese female, she battled sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. Her liberal politics, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism. As Franklin Odo, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, states: “Patsy Mink offers a phenomenal political story, because she was so outside what you would expect of a woman, of a Japanese American and of a member of Congress.” Simultaneously a woman of the people and a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, her story proves endlessly intriguing, and one that embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.


GRRRL Film Club | Deaf Jam | Tue, April 8, 4am – 6am

Aneta Brodski is an Israeli-born teenager living in Queens, New York. She is passionate and driven and well liked by her high school classmates. Unique among her classmates, Aneta longs to fully participate in the hearing world. While she is proud of her deafness, she does not want to be defined by it. She longs to be understood by everyone around her in the bustling city. Some of her classmates feel that Deaf culture is — and should be — claimed by a fierce embrace of deaf identity and respect for the unique beauty of its language. At her school, Aneta joins an extracurricular program to learn American Sign Language poetry. She and her fellow students gradually find their inner voice in the poems they create. Aneta’s world opens up as she is tantalized by the possibility of competing in a poetry slam with mostly hearing competitors. With ties to rap and hip-hop culture, the U.S. National Poetry Slams for youth have gained momentum across the country, highlighting a highly verbal and rhythmic form of self-expression. Aneta is one of the first deaf youth to participate in a major slam event, and despite some initial anxiety about how the deaf performers might be received, she courageously takes the stage. In a remarkable twist of fate, Aneta meets and then collaborates with Tahani — a hearing Palestinian slam poet. They create a hearing/deaf duet touching on their shared personal and cultural experiences — generating a new form of slam poetry that crosses boundaries, cultures, and languages.


GRRRL Film Club | Troop 1500 | Tue, April 22, 4pm – 6pm

TROOP 1500 follows five young Girl Scouts—sisters Caitlin and Mikaela, Jasmine, Jessica and Naomi—whose mothers are serving time. Once inside the prison bars, the girls of Troop 1500 fall into the arms of the mothers they seldom see— Kenya, Melissa, Ida and Susan—crying and laughing while pulling out report cards and pictures and passing along hellos from grandparents and absent brothers. At the conclusion of each monthly meeting in the prison library, the girls and moms form a circle and recite the Girl Scout Promise in unison: “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout law.” Filmmakers Ellen Spiro and Karen Bernstein, who volunteered with the girls for two years before making TROOP 1500, gained unprecedented access to Girl Scouts of the USA, Gatesville Prison and the families themselves. The filmmakers trained the girls in videography, so they could conduct their own interviews and tell their own stories—asking some difficult questions and getting some tough answers. TROOP 1500 goes beyond the girls’ prison experience to show what their daily lives are like: balancing family, schoolwork and extracurricular activities under the care of dads, friends and grandparents. And though the girls longingly await the day when their moms are free, their problems don’t always end upon their mothers’ release. The result is a sobering but hopeful look at the struggles faced by the more than 1.5 million American children who have a parent behind bars.GRRRL Film Club | Solar Mamas | Tue, May 13, 2014, 4pm – 6pmRafea is 30 years old with four children and a husband who is eager to take a third wife. She is a Bedouin woman living in a small Jordanian village close to the desert. With encouragement from the country's Ministry of Environment, she leaves her village for the first time to go to the Barefoot College in India to train to become a solar-energy engineer. The Barefoot College in India was founded by Bunker Roy to provide knowledge and training to the rural poor to empower them to make their communities self-reliant and sustainable. The solar course at Barefoot College has women from Kenya, Burkina Faso, Columbia, and Guatemala. And now Rafea from Jordan. She is the first Jordanian woman ever to attend such a program, and she dreams of returning to bring much-needed income and talents to support her family and village. But two months into the program, Rafea’s husband insists that she return home or he will divorce her and take her children. With no real choice in the matter, Rafea goes back to her village and sets out to persuade her husband and other family members that her studies in India benefit everyone. In her journey away from home, back, and then away once more, Rafea goes through a profound transformation, returning as an educated woman with the skills to earn an income and achieve for her community what others could not.


2013 screenings


October 8, 2013 The Graduates

The film explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States. The segment we will be screening, “Girls,” features Stephanie, a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, who despite attending a tough public school on the South Side of Chicago, fights through the distractions and worries about violence to become a good student, outspoken activist, and volunteer; Chastity, a Bronx teen whose family has become homeless but uses writing as a means of escape while keeping her eyes on the prize — college; and Darlene, a Tulsa student who dropped out of school after becoming pregnant and has to play catch-up when she dives back into her studies, all while trying to make a good future for her son.The ARTS at Marks Garage @ 5:30 pm


October 22, 2013 Strong! by Julie Wyman

Cheryl Haworth is a young woman with a big dream: to be the strongest woman in the world. As the 300-pound U.S. Olympic weightlifter prepares for Beijing 2008, she struggles with injury, confidence, and her place in a world where larger women are not readily accepted.The ARTS at Marks Garage @ 5:30 pm


November 12, 2013Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Kelcey Edwards

Tracing the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman, from the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.The ARTS at Marks Garage @ 4:00 pm [NOTE CHANGE OF TIME}


November 26, 2013 Troop 1500 by by Ellen Spiro and Karen Bernstein

At Hilltop Prison in Gatesville, Texas, a unique Girl Scout troop — Troop 1500 — unites daughters with mothers who are serving time for serious crimes, giving them a chance to rebuild their broken bonds. Facing long sentences from the courts, the mothers struggle to mend their fractured relationships with their daughters.The ARTS at Marks Garage @ 5:30 pm


December 10, 2013 The Revolutionaly Optimists by Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen

Amlan Ganguly, a lawyer-turned social entrepreneur, has sewn hope in the poorest neighborhoods of Calcutta by empowering children to become leaders in improving health, transforming their communities for the better.The ARTS at Marks Garage @ 5:30 pm