FemDoc is a provocative program of film screenings, public discussions and interpretative material that showcases works by and about women (both cis-women and trans* artists or subjects included), as well as the social, economic, cultural and political issues that affect their lives and work. Like other Cinema Politica programs, with FemDoc we seek to engage documentary audiences, artists, experts, intellectuals and the public at large with an under-served or narrowly represented topic. In this regard FemDoc has three goals: (1) To increase the visibility of women filmmakers; (2) To highlight women’s issues and women subjects in documentary cinema; and finally (3) To create a program that invites discussions around the above topics, as well as feminism as it relates to documentary culture and politics. FemDoc, continues to strengthen and expand Cinema Politica’s larger mandate to bring together documentary and social justice, to foster fair and equitable representation on screen and behind the camera, and to create audience spaces and platforms for inclusive, critical engagement with independent film.
We launched FemDoc during a moment of great socio-political upheaval, as citizens in Quebec and Canada remain intensely divided on questions directly affecting women, such as reproductive justice, rape and sex-work. The mainstream media often ignores women’s voices and marginalizes women’s perspectives by relying heavily on male perspectives to frame those stories. A good example for such misrepresentation is the topic of rape culture, where sensationalized or two-dimensional reportage often forecloses on engaged discussion around these complex issues. We also feel that by focusing on women in documentary cinema an opportunity to open up critical dialogue around Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women must open up, one that can be uniquely engaged in artistic practices, representation, and spectatorship.
FemDoc seeks to offer a more robust, dynamic and critical lens through which audiences and publics can approach these charged issues, as well as an inclusive public platform free of commercial imperatives from which to launch conversations that cut across social, economic, political and cultural lines, ultimately fostering a multi-vocal, healing and productive discussion on topics all too often misrepresented or under-represented by other media channels.
With this in mind, in 2016 Cinema Politica circulated a program of Quebecois and Canadian works that provoke, engage and challenge audiences regarding gender equity and representation throughout Quebec, Canada and abroad. These exceptional films are listed below.
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An experimental short film on displacement and returning to Palestine via Google Streetview.
The story of Canadian Omar Khadr, detained at Guantánamo for almost a decade without charges.
A classic performance dealing with prostitution and anti-prostitution.
Alternative economist, politician and feminist Marilyn Waring explores the value of women's work.
A devoted father and filmmaker with a drive to keep the cameras rolling and show his son and the world what it means to live with disability.