Videos - Videos By Title – R
Race: The Power of an Illusion
This film challenges one of our most fundamental beliefs: that human beings come divided into a few distinct groups. This definitive three-part series (we have episodes two and three) is an eye-opening tale of how what we assume to be normal, commonsense, even scientific, is actually shaped by our history, social institutions and cultural beliefs.
Episode two, The Story We Tell, questions the belief that race has always been with us. Ancient peoples stigmatized “others” based on language, custom and especially religion, but they did not sort people into “races.” Instead, the program traces the race concept to the European conquest of the Americas, including the development of the first slave system where all slaves shared a physical trait – dark skin. Ironically, it wasn’t until slavery was challenged on moral grounds that early prejudices – emboldened by the need to defend slavery in a nation that professed a deep belief in freedom – crystallized into a full-blown ideology of white supremacy. By the mid-19th century, race had become the “commonsense” wisdom of white America, explaining everything from individual behavior to the fate of whole societies The Story We Tell reveals the startling story of how social inequalities came to be disguised as “natural.” (56 minutes, 2003, VHS)
Episode Three, The House We Live In, focuses not on individual behaviors and attitudes, but on how our institutions shape and create race, giving different groups vastly unequal life chances. Who is white? In the early 20th century, the answer wasn’t always clear. Often the courts had to decide, and they resorted to contradictory logic to maintain the color line. After World War II, whiteness increasingly meant owning a home in the suburbs, aided by discriminatory federal policies. European “ethnics,” once considered not quite white, blended together as they reaped the advantages of whiteness – including increased equity as property values rose dramatically – while African Americans and other nonwhites were locked out. Today the average white family has eight times the wealth of the average Black family. Forty years after the Civil Rights movement, the playing field is still not level, and “colorblind” policies only perpetuate these inequities. (56 minutes, 2003, VHS)
Race Talks Among Undergraduate Women
Part of the WIC Lunch Series. The speaker was Ana Mart’nez Alem‡n, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Boston College. (1998)
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Profiles the scientist whose book sparked a revolution in governmental policy regarding the environment. (60 min.)
Rachel Rosenthal: Searching for a Boon
The documentary focuses on Rachel Rosenthal, a world renowned performance artist and the founder of the Rachel Rosenthal Company in Los Angeles. She received a grant in 1991 to create a 10-week multicultural workshop in performance art. Searching for a Boon documents those ten weeks of preparation and discipline for their final performance. She believes the purpose of that performance is to bring out the spirit of the artist by making a personal statement. (58 min.)
Rachel’s Daughters: Searching for the Causes of Breast Cancer
This fascinating documentary follow s group of women – all breast cancer activist who oar fighting or have survived the disease – who are on a personal mission to unearth the causes of breast cancer. Seeing themselves as spiritual heirs of author Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring warned of the dangers of DDT exposure, they focus on issues including chemical contamination, radiation, and electromagnetic exposure to find breast cancer’s causes. Addressing environmental racism, inequalities in research funding, and disparities in cancer rates for women of color, they track the effects of social biases on cancer incidence and health care delivery. (107 min. 1997)
Radical Feminist Theologian Mary Daly: The Quest for Quintessence
Mary Daly reads from her latest work, Quintessence – Realizing the Archaic Future, A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto. Gretchen Van Ness comments on Mary Daly’s ongoing legal battle with Boston College. Also includes the Sunday Afternoon Women’s Circle. (1999)
The Action League Grannies have been spied on by the California National Guard. They’ve been written about in Time magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News. They’ve appeared on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly and are regulars in Bay Area evening news stories. In public, they’ve been both booed and cheered, but they continue to protest with a sense of humor, a sense of outrage, and a commitment to non-violence. (2010, 30 minutes, DVD)
A Raisin in the Sun
A $10,000 insurance check can allow the Youngers to finally escape their frustrating life in a crowded Chicago apartment. But escape means different things to each family member. Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier) wants to invest in a liquor store. Lena (Claudia McNeil), Walter Lee’s widowed mother, wants to buy a house, and Lena’s daughter in college (Ruby Dee) could use the money to complete medical school. Walter risks it all on the liquor store and is ruined. Walter Lee is then faced with selling the family’s new house to a homeowner’s association that pays well to keep blacks out. Based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry. (128 min. B/W, 1961)
Raising Their Voices: The Politics of Girls’ Anger
Part of the WIC Lunch Series. The speaker was Lyn Mikel-Brown, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, Education and Human Development, Colby College. (1998)
The Real Ellen Story
“ABC silenced the show but with this tale of self-empowerment, it’s Ellen who gets the last word,” writes Entertainment Weekly’s Jamie Bufalino. Interviews with Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Heche, Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Etheridge, Laura Dern, Diane Sawyer, and ABC/Disney Executives help reveal the behind the scenes stories of the most controversial television episode in history. (52 minutes, 1998, VHS Format)
Rebecca Walker: The Third Wave of Feminism
An on-campus event given as part of Women’s History Celebration. The daughter of an interracial couple who married in defiance of Mississippi’s anti-miscegenation laws, Rebecca Walker is true to her birthright; she continues to agitate. One of the most audible voices of the young women’s movement, Walker is a contributing editor to Ms. Magazine and editor of To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism. She was recently named one of TIME magazine’s 50 future leaders of America. With a focus on leadership and activism, Walker explores the boundaries of the feminist community and what a feminist politics and identity are. Talking on issues such as racism, sexism, and sexual identity, she challenges us to embrace social, political, and economic equality for all humanity and to recognize a new relationship between the personal and the political. (90 min. 1998)
Reclaiming a Past
A powerful performance piece by actress Judith Sloan in which she creates the character “Sophie”: a composite of several elderly European Jewish women she interviewed as part of an oral history project. Sloan brilliantly weaves the lives, feelings, thoughts and dreams of these women into her performance as “Sophie”. (15 min.)
Reconstructing Babylon: Women in Engineering
An on-campus lecture delivered as part of the Women’s History Celebration. Patricia Hynes, an author and professor at MIT, explores the crucial role women have played in defining and shaping technology. (75 min. 1993)
Beginning as a lusty romantic comedy about a nervous young bride’s arrival and ensuing seduction at a remote winery, and ending as a heroic and harrowing drama of partisan resistance during the Japanese occupation, Red Sorghum is, a “gorgeous fable.” Acclaimed as the most popular film of the Chinese new wave in filmmaking. (Mandarin with English subtitles. 91 min. 1987)
Reflections on Being a Sephardic Jewish Woman
An on-campus presentation. Rita Arditti, a Women’s Studies scholar and cofounder of the Women’s Community Cancer Project. The daughter of Turkish immigrants who fled to Argentina to escape rising anti-Semitism, Arditti relates her personal observations on being a Sephardic Jew in this highly personal journey into one woman’s identity. (75 min. 1992)
Reflections on the Writing of Saigon Memories: A Cookbook
WIC/WST Spring 2004 Lunch Series with Kay Retzlaff. 4-14-04.
Regret to Inform
Venturing to Vietnam twenty years after her husband was killed in a mortar attack, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn finds a mesmerizing landscape filled with the psychic remnants of war. Getting beyond the physical and emotional devastation, she talks to those on all sides of the struggle, discovering a common bond in loss and ultimately understanding. Filled with archival footage, breathtaking visions of modern day Vietnam, and heart-wrenching stories from American and Vietnamese women who lost their husbands to war, this video takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey that begins with the phrase, “We regret to inform you” (72 min. 1998)
The Reindeer Queen: The Story of Alaska’s Sinrock Mary
This film documents the life of an Alaskan Eskimo woman whose tenacity and spirit led her to play a significant role in the turbulent history of Alaska’s Arctic. Combining rare archival footage, stills and interviews with people who knew her, this unusual film brings to life the Alaskan frontier at the end of the last century. Her story is all the more remarkable in view of the prejudice against Native Americans during the Gold Rush Era. (28 min. 1992)
Religion, Politics, and Women in Iran: Edging Toward Democracy?
Shahla Haeri, Director of Women’s Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Boston University. Part of the Spring 2008 Women in the Curriculum and Women’s Studies Program Luncheon Series. Co-sponsored by the School of Policy and International Affairs. 1/28/08; DVD format.
Religion and Sexuality: Gender Roles in the
Major Religious Traditions
Presented by a panel of Bangor-area religious leaders. Part of the Religion and Sexuality series, organized by Sandy Caron. Part of the Fall 2007 WIC Lunch Series. 10-30-07. DVD and VHS format available.
Remember the Witches
Laurie Meeker explores witchcraft as a “women’s crime”, by analyzing how medieval European societies used witch-hunts as a tool for political and social control. Meeker effectively integrates the tragedies of history with a positive perspective of the ancient women’s healing traditions often defined as witchcraft. (22 min. 1985)
Part of the Women in the Curriculum Lunch Series. Speaker Carol Joffe discusses the importance of reproductive rights and what it means for everyone involved. (3/31/00)
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (Classroom Edition)
In this exclusive, illustrated interview, Mary Pipher, Ph.D., discusses the challenges facing today’s teenagers, especially girls, as well as the role of media and popular culture in shaping their identities. She offers concrete ideas for girls and boys, families, teachers, and schools to help girls free themselves from the toxic influences of today’s media-saturated culture. (35 min. 1998)
Rewriting the Script: A Love Letter to Our Families
This stunning documentary explores the loves, lives and sexualities of Queer South Asians and their families of origin. parents, sibling and family members talk about the struggle to rewrite and redefine their relationships. DVD format.
Following the story of Lali Devi, a mother of five daughters who poisoned herself and two of her daughters, Rishte explores the practice of male sex preference in India and how this led to her suicide. This moving and informative film also follows the efforts of Shyamkali, an activist who has established a community organization dedicated to raising Indian women’s awareness about the impact of sex preference on their lives and their legal rights in this issue. Rishte is part of the series Women’s Lives and Choices. (28 min. 1995)
Rosa Parks forever changes the appearance of segregation in the South. After a long day’s work, she takes the only available seat in the first row of the “colored” section on the bus. When a white man boards and the driver demands that the black riders in her row move, the others comply, but not Rosa. This singular event causes an uproar throughout the South, throwing Rosa and her family into a ring of hatred. Is it possible for one woman’s efforts to alter centuries of discrimination and injustice toward her people? Starring Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson. (100 min. 2001)
Many men of Indian origin residing in the West travel to India to meet an Indian woman, marry her and bring her to the West. Increasingly a large percentage of these brides are abandoned over dowry disputes. Runaway Grooms looks into this disturbing trend that has shattered the lives of at least 10,000 women in India. The social structures, laws and customs in India make it possible for women and their families to be ruthlessly exploited. Runaway Grooms explores this culture of patriarchy, shame and honor. 2006, 52 minutes, VHS.