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Women's History Month 2017

Join us in celebrating Women's History Month with our annual Women's History Month Film Series featuring a collection of five $5 documentary and narrative films about trailblazing women during the month of March! Follow our Facebook event page here.

All films are free for students with an ID. 

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

In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8th, we will be offering free tickets to friends and associates of the SBAI. Details will be sent to our mailing lists. If you think you may not be on our mailing lists, email sbai@rochester.edu to be added.

Download the program booklet here.

The series is sponsored by a New York Council on the Humanities New York Action Grant and is co-presented by The Little Theatre, WXXI, and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.

WHMFS Committee members:
Barbara LeSavoy
Jane Bryant
Almudena Escobar Lopez
Ilka Datig
Linda Moroney
Bri Merkel
Jenna Iannucci

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SONITA (Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, 2015)

SUNDAY, MARCH 5th at 3PM.

If 18 year old Sonita had a say in things, Michael Jackson would be her father and Rihanna her mother. She captures her dream of being a famous rapper in her scrapbook. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. There, Sonita, a refugee from Afghanistan, gets counseling for the traumas she has suffered and guidance in shaping her future. Her family has a very different planned for her: as a bride she is worth $9,000. What's mor, women aren't allowed to sign in Iran. How can Sonita still succeed in making her dreams come true?

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)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8th at 6:30PM.

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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LEAGUE OF EXOTIQUE DANCERS (Rama Rau, 2015)

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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REVOLUTION IN FOUR SEASONS (Jessie Deeter, 2016)

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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