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Educating undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century.

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The Newcomb Feminist Film Series is a collaborative project intended to provide students, faculty, staff, and community members the local opportunity to see female-focused films not traditionally screened in a movie theater.  Each film screening features presentations by outside experts, filmmakers, directors, or faculty with discussions related to the theme of the movie to add to the viewing experience.

For more information about upcoming films, email Aidan Smith at

Upcoming Screenings

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 Past Screenings

Spring 2015

"Brave Miss World"
Wednesday, February 4

Miss Israel Linor Abargil was abducted, stabbed, and raped in Milan, Italy, at age 18. She had to represent her country in the Miss World competition only six weeks later. When to her shock she was crowned the winner, she vowed to do something about rape. The film follows her from the rape, to her crowning and through her crusade to fight for justice and break the silence. During her travels to speak out and meet with other rape victims, her own trauma begins to resurface. Her serial rapist becomes eligible for parole, and she has to hunt down his previous victims in order to help keep him behind bars. The film explores the trauma of sexual assault through one young woman's journey from teenage rape victim to Miss World to empowered lawyer. 

"It Happened Here"
Wednesday, March 4
This feature length documentary explores the alarming pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses, the impact on the student, their family and institution, and the burgeoning movement of student survivors coming forth and taking action against their schools on campus and in federal court. Through the personal portraits of five students at three schools, testimonials from college administrators, educators, mental health experts and legal schools, the film breaks the silence surrounding campus sexual violence and asks why is this happening? What are schools doing about it? What is "rape culture" and what can we do to prevent campus assault?

Fall 2014

"Obvious Child"
Tuesday, September 16

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her hysterical and relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as rude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna winds up unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand, she is forced to face the uncomfortable realities of independent womanhood for the first time. Donna's drunken hookup - and epic lapse in prophylactic judgement - turns out to be the beginning of a hilarious and totally unplanned journey of self-discovery and empowerment. 

Tuesday, October 7

Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. At home, her parents' marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike's development becomes a topic of discussion. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity - sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.

"The New Black"
Monday, October 27

The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community's institutional pillar - the black church and reveals the Christian right wing's strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.

"Riot Acts"
Thursday, November 20

Riot Acts is a 'trans-fabulous' rockumentary representing the multi-faceted lives of transgender and gender variant musicians. A first-hand perspective of the intersections between gender performance and stage performance, Riot Acts suggests that identities and bodies are undeniably political, and the journey within a trans experience isn't always one of tragedy, but one of creativity and joy.


Spring 2014

"After Tiller"
Wednesday, January 22

After Tiller intimately explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives everyday in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients.

"Girl Rising"
Monday, March 24

Girl Rising is a groundbreaking feature film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to transform societies. The film presents the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world, told by celebrated writers and voiced by renowned actors revealing a critical truth: educate girls and change the world.

"Hannah Arendt"
Wednesday, April 2

This award-winning film profiles the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist, Hannah Arendt. Arendt's reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker-controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils-introduced her now-famous concept of the "Banality of Evil."

Fall 2013

"Girl From Birch Creek"

Wednesday, October 9

A woman faces tragedy and hardship as a young girl in Depression-era Kansas, but grows up to fight the battle for equal justice and for women's equality during the 1970's, opening the doors of opportunity for generations of women who will come after her. The film tells the story of Rosalie Wahl, first woman appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court; and the story of the movement that made her appointment possible.

"The Invisible War"
Thursday, October 10

A groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. Today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. 

"Kate Bornstein: A Work In Progress"
Wednesday, November 20

This film is a character-driven, feature-length, portrait film about the internationally renowned and celebrated author Kate Bornstein - a post-modern gender theorist, performance artist, trans-dyke, former high-ranking scientologist, heavily tattooed and pierced, 64 year old Jewish, queer icon.

Spring 2013

"A Sporting Change: The Lasting Legacy of Title IX"
Thursday, January 31

This documentary reveals Title IX's story and portrays how it has helped transform athletic participation for women, as well as the immense impact it has left in the 40 years since its enacting. The film also includes personal stories from people who went beyond gender barriers in their athletic careers.

"Game Change"
Monday, February 25

Game Change is a searing, behind-the-scenes look at John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from the decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate to the ticket's ultimate defeat in the general election just sixty days later. The film examines how we chose our leaders by offering a unique glimpse into the inner workings of an historic campaign.

"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot"
Monday, March 11

An inquiry into the extraordinary if largely unsung life of Anne Braden, organizer, agitator, Southerner, journalist, feminist, teacher and mentor. Braden's reflections on the history and significance of six decades of racial justice organizing is interspersed with commentary from civil rights leaders, historians, community organizers, educators, environmental advocates, friends and foes. 

"It Was Rape"
Monday, April 8

Rape is wrong, illegal, reprehensible-- and yet still tragically common. In this film, eight women tell their diverse personal stories of sexual assault, from a Midwestern teenager trying alcohol for the first time to a Native American woman gradually coming to terms with her abusive childhood. Ultimately, these stories shed light on how this epidemic affects us all.

Spring 2012

"Made in Dagenham"
Friday, February 3

This 2010 drama is based on the true story of how women in the UK fought for equal pay for equal work in 1968. The event included a discussion led by Prof. Sally Kenney, Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute and Professor of Political Science.

"Defending our Lives"

Thursday, February 16

Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women in America - more than muggings, rapes, and car accidents combined. A woman in the United States is more likely to be killed by her partner than by any other assailant. Sarah Buel, a district attorney, outlines the problem throughout this Oscar-winning documentary - not merely as a member of the criminal justice system, but as a former battered woman. This event was screened in conjunction with the course "Law and Politics of Domestic Violence."

"The Sunken City: Rebuilding Post-Katrina New Orleans"

Friday, March 2

This screening included a discussion with filmmaker and Professor of History Marline Otte, about her documentary on Post-Katrina New Orleans as it oscillated between recovery and rebuilding over the course of two years (2006-2008). The film highlights the work of both local citizens and volunteers from all over the nation as they established grassroots organizations, set up food banks, provided medical care, gutted homes, and rebuilt schools and public libraries. The documentary follows these events, takes stock of the loss that defines the "storm generation," and features interviews with "third responders," who dedicate themselves to rebuilding morale among those dispirited by the slowness of recovery.

"Screaming Queens"
Friday, April 20
The EMMY Award-winning documentary "Screaming Queens" tells the little-known story of the first known act of collective, violent resistance to the social oppression of queer people in the United States - a 1966 riot in San Francisco's impoverished Tenderloin neighborhood, three years before the famous gay riot at New York's Stonewall Inn. This screening included an introduction by Gender & Sexuality Studies Professor Red Tremmel, and also included a discussion with Prof. Tremmel and members of the community group BreakOUT!

Fall 2011

"Miss Representation"

Friday, September 16

In this provocative, of-the-moment film, Writer/Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom interwove stories from teenage girls with provocative interviews from the likes of Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, and Gloria Steinem to give us an inside look at the media and its messages for and about women today. This screening included a discussion with special guest speaker Professor Celeste Lay from the department of Political Science.

"Sin By Silence"

Friday, October 7

In honor of the 20th anniversary Take Back the Night event on October 26, the Newcomb College Institute screened "Sin by Silence," about a group of extraordinary women shattering misconceptions of domestic violence from behind prison walls. The event will featured special guest speakers Prof. Tania Tetlow, Director of the Tulane Domestic Violence Law Clinic, and Mary Baldwin Kennedy, Assistant Warden, Unit 1, LA Correctional Institute for Women.

"Business of Being Born"

Friday, November 18

Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth has also now become big business. Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruited filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies. Epstein gained access to several pregnant women as they weighed their options which include doulas, midwives, birthing centers and C-sections. Along the way, Epstein conducted interviews with a number of obstetricians, experts and advocates about the history, culture and economics of childbirth. This screening included a discussion with filmmaker Abby Epstein.

Spring 2011

"The Canal Street Madam"

Friday, February 4

This documentary tells the story of Jeanette Maier, who was a successful New Orleans madam until an FBI bust upended her life. Her discreet clientele included a number of powerful, high-ranking politicians, who escaped exposure. The film documents Maier's work to reinvent herself, to reclaim her public persona, and to protect her family. Introducing the film is Prof. Alecia Long, Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University and author of The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, And Respectability in New Orleans, 1865-1920.

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell"

Friday, March 25

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" chronicles the remarkable story of the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. Thousands of women — ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim — came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they demanded a resolution to the country's civil war. Their actions were a critical element in bringing about agreement during the stalled peace talks.

"Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival"

Friday April 15

The film is a documentary about former striptease dancer Dixie Evans ("The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque") who uses her social security check to transform a goat farm in the middle of the Mojave Desert into the world's first and only museum and retirement home devoted to striptease dancers. Co-sponsored by Newcomb Sexuality and Gender Alliance, this event included a discussion with filmmaker and faculty member Dr. Red Tremmel.

Fall 2010

"Nobody Knows My Name": Women in Hip-Hop

Saturday October 23

This screening featured a discussion with director Dr. Rachel Raimist about her documentary film, which tells the story of women who are connected by their love for hip-hop music.

"Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy"

Friday November 19

This special screening included a discussion with director Mark Schuller. Told through the lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, "Poto Mitan" gives the global economy a human face.

"Eat the Kimono"

Wednesday, December 1

We were thrilled to present: "Eat the Kimono," a brilliant documentary about Hanayagi Genshu, a Japanese feminist and avant-garde dancer and performer, who has spent her life defying her conservative culture's contempt for independence and unconventionality. Following the movie, the Newcomb Art Gallery was open late to view their exhibit "FASHIONING KIMONO: ART DECO AND MODERNISM IN JAPAN."

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