SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY, which tracks the early stirrings of what we now call the Feminist Movement -- along with its history, motives and disagreements-among-members -- will be a special treat. For younger viewers, who might wonder where it all came from, here's your chance to disco-ver. Full of splendid archival photos of many of the gals who propel-led it, the movie allows us to see and hear some of the survivors as they now look back nearly a half century.
Mary Dore, who thirty years ago co-wrote and -directed the terrific documentary, The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. This is quite a different subject, but Dore handles it every bit as well, with enthusiasm and smarts. She's unafraid to tackle certain subjects that usually remain just off limits for mainstream audiences -- such as where lesbianism fit into the early feminist movement (listening to Rita Mae Brown talk about those days is both bracing and funny), as well as why and how women of color entered the fight. (The "Black Sisters Unite" movement had, as its first job, to fight black men.)
Ellen Willis talk about her experience trying to make a speech at a rally at which the men's reactions were, well, piggish.)
Our Bodies, Ourselves? We discover the origins of that now classic book. And when it comes to pushing necessary causes, we have the women's movement to thank for raising our consciousness regarding everything from women's health issues to sexual harassment and domestic violence.
Susan Brownmiller reminds us, "Change happens because radicals force it. But our country doesn't like to admit this." Amen.
International Film Circuit and running 92 minutes, She's Beautiful When She's Angry -- a wonderful title that works both as truth and as an ironic "take" on the old male gaze phrase -- opens this Friday, December 5, in New York City at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, and a week later, November 12, in Los Angeles at the the Landmark NuArt.