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Women's History Month 2017

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies in collaboration with The Little Theatre is celebrating Women's History Month with a collection of documentary and narrative films about trailblazing women.

Special speakers, including local educators and women's right advocates, will lead audience discussion after most of the films.

The series is sponsored by a New York Council on the Humanities New York Action Grant.

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SONITA SONITA (Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, 2015)


Sonita is an 18-year-old female, an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the poor suburbs of Tehran. She is a feisty, spirited, young woman who fights to live the way she wants, as an artist, singer, and musician in spite of all her obstacles she confronts in Iran and her conservative patriarchal family. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family – strongly advanced by her mother – to make her a bride and sell her to a new family. The price right now is about US$ 9.000.

This screening is presented with community partner Girls Rock! Rochester and a surprise performance will follow the screening!!

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CITY OF JOY (Madeleine Gavin, 2016)


This documentary tells the story of center for healing called City of Joy, in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where women who have suffered violence and the most unimaginable abuse are cared for and learn to rise above their circumstances. The film also explores the relationships between Dr. Denis Mukwege (2016 Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize), radical playwright and activist Eve Ensler ("The Vagina Monolgoues") and human rights activist - and Director of "City of Joy" - Christine Schuler-Deschryver as they create a place of peace amidst the civil war of Eastern DRC.

This screening is presented with community partner Willow Domestic Violence Center of Greater Rochester and a discussion will follow the screening lead by Barbara LeSavoy, Director of Gender and Women's Studies at the College of Brockport.

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SUNDAY, MARCH 12th at 3:00PM.

With a blast of brassy jazz and a spin through the glitz of modern Las Vegas, award-winning director Rama Rau’s documentary League of Exotique Dancers sets the stage for a provocative and eye-opening “backstage tour” of the golden age of Burlesque through the colorful lives of unforgettable women who made it glitter. It peels off the layers of glitter to expose the sexism, racism and widespread stigma faced by Burlesque striptease performers and, indeed, the wider array of working women in that tumultuous era. Illuminated by rare, never-before-seen, archival material, League of Exotique Dancers is all about its characters. Intimate interviews—held in homes and former haunts, filled with humour and heartbreak, reveal what keeps these formers stars busy today: driving a hearse, running marathons, designing flannel nightgowns, a hypnotherapy practice . . . they’re still full of surprises!

This screening is presented with community partners Pretty Kitties Burlesque and Skylark Lounge. A discussion will follow the screening with Linda Moroney, Documentary Filmmakers and film series programmer, Rama Rau, director of "League of Exotique Dancers" and Ed Barreveld, producer of the film. 

After party with a performance by Pretty Kitties Burlesque at Skylark Lounge starting at 6pm.

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SUNDAY, MARCH 19th at 3:00PM.

This seminal film tells the story of two women with opposing political views fighting for their different versions of a democratic future for Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab Spring. Over the course of Tunisia's critical post-revolution years, we follow journalist Emna Ben Jemaa, who envisions a country governed by free speech and without the corruption of the former regime.

In contrast, Jawhara Ettis of the Islamist party Ennahda works towards a Tunisia guided by Islamic principles. On a public level, both women must navigate how females are treated in their society, while in their own homes they must make difficult choices to balance their public political roles with marriage and motherhood. Both know the stakes are high. The ever-present threat of Islamic extremists means their fragile political process could break down and all they've worked for could be lost.

A discussion will follow the screening moderated by Ilka Datig, Head of Instruction and Outreach at the Lorette Wilmot Library at Nazareth College.

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BORN IN FLAMES (Lizzie Borden, 1983)

SUNDAY, MARCH 26th at 6:00PM.

We are proud to screen a 35mm print preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.

This 1983 documentary-style feminist science fiction film by Lizzie Borden that explores racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism in an alternative United States socialist democracy. The plot concerns two feminist groups in New York City, each voicing their concerns to the public by pirate radio. One group, led by an outspoken white lesbian, Isabel (Adele Bertei), operates "Radio Ragazza". The other group, led by a soft-spoken African-American, Honey (Honey), operates "Phoenix Radio." The local community is stimulated into action after a world-traveling political activist, Adelaide Norris (Jean Satterfield), is arrested upon arriving at a New York City airport, and suspiciously dies while in police custody.

This screening is presented with community partners ImageOut and WAYO 104.3 FM

A discussion will follow the screening with with:

-Born in Flames Director, Lizzie Borden
-Barbara LeSavoy, Director of Gender and Women's Studies at the College of Brockport
-Almudena Escobar Lopez, PhD student from the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester, Board member at Girls Rock! Rochester and
-Shermeeka Mason, Science Fiction Author, Creator of Black Girl with Glasses (blog), and Programmer at WAYO 104.3 FM.

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