With 205 films to choose from at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down your viewing list. Thankfully the festival offer films that will appeal to just about any interest and if you happen to be partial to films with a feminist slant, 2013 especially seems to be year of the take-no-prisoners woman.
The Punk Singer tells the story of Kathleen Hanna, founder of ’90s bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and one of the women responsible for the Riot Grrl movement, a third wave of feminism that captured the hearts and minds of many young women in the final decade of the twentieth Century. Director Sini Anderson has created a heartfelt and downright rockin’ portrait of a woman who spent her life encouraging other women to live the motto “girls in front.”
Catch the final two screenings of The Punk Singer on Wednesday, May 1 at 8pm and Friday, May 3 at 6:30pm.
Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer is a candid, ripped from the headlines look at the three members of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot who were jailed after putting on a protest performance at a church. The film offers a look at the trial proceedings and at what made these women don ski masks and put their freedom (and personal safety) at risk. With an eye to communicating a less sensationalistic view of the case than we were treated to here in North America, Directors Maxim Pozdorovkin and Mike Lerner have produced a doc that gives a unique window into this next wave of revolutionaries.
Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer screens on Saturday, May 4 at 7pm.
Anita takes a look inside the life of Anita Hill, who took the national news spotlight in 1991 with her powerful testimony about her sexual harassment at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Rather than shy away from the public eye after the hearing, Anita made it her mission to change the way that women are treated in both in the workplace and the world beyond. Director Freida Mock takes us along with her as she talks to Anita about her life before, during and after the famous hearing and shows how one woman who wouldn’t be silenced has made a huge difference in the lives of so many women.
Anita has its final screening on Saturday, May 4 at 4pm.
Buying Sex is actually about a whole bunch of kick-ass women who are invested in arguing about the state of the sex industry in Canada. On one side, current sex workers argue for laws that will completely decriminalize prostitution, allowing them to work in safe places of their choosing while ex-sex workers who call themselves abolitionists want laws that criminalize the people who pay for sex which, in their view, will eventually lead to a future where no one is able to buy another human for any reason. This is an important and smartly structured film that ultimately looks at how women are still perceived as possessions by society and exactly what part the sex trade plays in that reality.
Buying Sex screens Wednesday, May 1 at 6pm, Friday, May 3 at 1:30pm and Sunday, May 5 at 1:30pm.
Eufrosina’s Revolution tells the story of Eufrosina Mendoza, an indigenous woman who was denied a seat on the municipal council in Oaxaca Mexico because of her cultural background and gender. Rather than allow blatant bigotry to cow her, she instead launched herself full force into creating an even bigger–and in your face–political career for herself. Luciana Kaplan’s film will inspire, amaze and make you want to stand up and cheer.
Eufrosina’s Revolution is screening on Wednesday, May 1 at 8:30pm, Friday, May 3 at 3:45pm and Sunday, May 5 at 3pm.
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