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network 08/03/2017 - 11:00AM


At Cinema Politica we take every opportunity year-round to celebrate the voice and work of women. That said, we also welcome International Women’s Day as a unique chance to shine the spotlight on some especially remarkable achievements of women in film. The talented and varied contributions profiled here prove that women both in front of and behind the camera are pioneering the industry in a move towards even more innovative documentary and storytelling through cinema. 

Cinema Politica has a proud history of providing a platform to women filmmakers and putting feminist docs at the forefront. Through short and long films, both hard-hitting docs and painterly portraits, CP’s Video On Demand (CPVOD) catalogue boasts a wealth of such empowering features. Our commitment to amplify the voices of women in film is one we are proud to uphold, and we invite you to discover these boundary (and ceiling) smashing titles – as a way to both honour the women in your life and those beyond your own borders! 

Our first doc is testament to the spirit of feminist collaboration, with filmmakers Liz Miller, Nupur Basu, Mary Kiio, Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier, and Karen Winther joining to compose a chaptered mistresspiece that interleaves the roles of women and the fight for climate justice. In HANDS ON: WOMEN, CLIMATE, CHANGE, five women across four continents use their research, communities and their own innovation to become climate defenders in the face of great odds. These unstoppable activists remain inspired and dedicated to eco-justice, even when faced with seemingly overwhelming adversity. Both the subjects and the filmmakers of HANDS ON remind us of the resourcefulness of the women at the forefront of environmental activism, and the film will leave you in awe of a resilience that spans generations and cultures. 

The brutal and uncompromising neo-noir short, A RED GIRL’S REASONING is vigilante fantasy come to life. Your blood is sure to boil as you encounter this female led and highly stylized social commentary Indigenous women and gender violence. Blackfoot/Sami filmmaker and activist Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers holds nothing back in this allegorical tale bent on countering the everyday injustices faced by Indigenous women across Canada. 

GULABI GANG treks across the badlands of Bundelkhand in central India, seemingly a site of desolation, where women routinely face violence without a chance at seeking protection. Enter the pink sari-clad women of the Gulabi Gang, led by the fiery and uncompromising Sampat Pal. These women travel long distances by cart and tractor, bus and train, to secure justice for women abandoned by the system – and director Nishtha Jain captures their efforts in a show of dynamic solidarity. Through investigation, protest and persistence Pal and her cohort of brave volunteers have shone a light on the struggles of a silenced population. Wielding sticks and wearing a joyous pink as they confront male oppressors, these vigilante women are truly a force. Though they often meet with resistance, Pal and her Gulabi Gang persevere in their mission and their commitment to feminism and egalitarian politics uncovers a complex story that is simultaneously humbling and heartening. This beautifully made film is a reminder of the anti-patriarchy, anti-violence work that is left to do, and champions some of the women across the globe who take such monumental tasks on unflinchingly.

Two images: First of a woman sitting from HANDS ON: WOMEN, CLIMATE, CHANGE and second of a crowd of women from GULABI GANG

A visually inspired filmmaker, Paramita Nath has given us a poetic short glimpse into the contradictions between the ways in which women are revered and reviled behind closed doors. DURGA casts light on the spiritual worship of femininity and the brutality of domestic violence, the two strikingly juxtaposed against the backdrop of one of India’s most celebrated religious festivals. This visually remarkable foray into the world of the Durga Puja is at once colorfully joyous and haunting in its identification of the ongoing brutalization of so many Indian women. Through her artistry, Nath appeals for the worship of divine goddesses to be mirrored in a practice of reverence for the very real, tangible women living amongst us today. 

Celebrating the experience of parenting and womanhood from a fresh perspective, TRANSGENDER PARENTS serves up intimate tableaus of love, life and family following gender transition. In turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, the film shares in the adventures of trans women and men navigating the myriad stages of parenting: from pregnancy, through to raising infants, toddlers and teenagers. Director Rémy Huberdeau has crafted a reminder that women’s experiences will not conform to social category, and that maternal love refuses to be contained by stale conventions of gender. 

An uncensored exploration of female desire on screen, BAD GIRL is Montreal based filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska’s investigation of the creation of pornography, by women, for women. We follow Nitoslawska through a racy and uncompromising look at women working to represent their own desire on film, and in the process the camera confronts and alters the expectations (and gaze) of male audiences. This hardcore overview of female-helmed pornography balances the philosophical and pragmatic approaches taken on by women across the industry. Nitoslawska and her film have overcome the restraints of censorship and scandal to provide a portrait of longing, authorship, and gendered sexuality that will leave you lusting for more.  

In the very same spirit of release, we present our next highly stimulating doc. After accepting a position editing erotic videos for pharmaceutical trials, American filmmaker Liz Canner took it upon herself to document the ongoing search for a ‘Female Viagra’. Spanning nearly a decade of investigation, ORGASM INC. traces the often-suspicious progress of medical labs as they enter drug trials while promising a cure for Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). What began as a film about science and pleasure soon transforms into a staggering look inside the marketing campaigns that are relentlessly targeting women’s health, their desire, and their quest for the ultimate moment of pleasure: orgasm.

We are humbled to showcase the work of these remarkable filmmakers and the wellspring of perspectives that they have brought to life. By crafting this astonishing cross section of films into being these filmmakers have revealed a diversity of voices that critically need to be heard, and Cinema Politica is intent on heralding their visions, both on International Women’s Day and beyond. 

With CPVOD you can take in these cinematic gems from the comfort of your own home at any time. Perhaps share a film with the women who enrich your own life, or simply enjoy a viewing in a show of solidarity with women around the globe you have yet to meet. Either way you will undoubtedly be floored by the artistry of these filmmakers, and feel compelled to celebrate the innovations of women in film well beyond the confines of a single day. 

Through Cinema Politica Video on Demand we remain committed to delivering stories straight to you - crafted by, and about, remarkable women. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, and we invite you join us by streaming women’s truth to power on CPVOD!

(Maggie MacDonald) 


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