MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies celebrate Black Herstory month and the FIFTH Annual Women Take the Reel film festival with a screening of...

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
directed by Shola Lynch

Friday - February 28, 2014
[ 6-120 ]

Angela Davis joins the Communist Party, protests with the Black Panthers, and becomes a principle spokesperson for the burgeoning prison reform movement. As a result, she finds herself fighting to keep her job, and in the national media spotlight characterized by her many detractors as a dangerous subversive menace, and by her supporters as a strong leader challenging authority and boldly advocating for "Power to All People." On August 7th, 1970 Angela is implicated in the politically motivated kidnapping and murder of a judge in a brazen daylight shootout at the Marin County, CA courthouse. Angela flees California, convinced she will not be given a fair trial and is placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. After a national manhunt she is captured two months later in New York City. Charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, Angela is put on trial in one of the most sensational court cases of its time. After a two-year legal battle, an all white jury acquits her on all charges in 1972. You know her name. Now, you will finally know her story.

101 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with MIT Professor Sandy Alexandre to follow.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS/W, History, Linguistics & Philosophy, Literature, Office of Minority Education, Political Science and Black Women's Alliance.

After Tiller
directed and produced by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson

Friday - March 7, 2014

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 every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients. Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson have created a moving and unique look at one of the most incendiary topics of our time, and they’ve done so in an informative, thought-provoking, and compassionate way.

85 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with Melanie Zurek, Executive Director of Provide and long time reproductive rights activist Susan Yanow to follow film screening.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS|W, History, Linguistics & Philosophy, Political Science and the BU School of Public Health Maternal/Child Health Program.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
directed and produced by Grace Lee

Friday - March 14, 2014
[ 4- 270 ]

What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American woman in Detroit whose vision of revolution will surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.

The documentary film, plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy—her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her—drives the story forward. Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience — the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.

As it kinetically unfurls an evolving life, city, and philosophy, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY takes the viewer on a journey into the power of ideas and the necessity of expansive, imaginative thinking, as well as ongoing dialectical conversation, to propel societal change. In an age when seemingly insurmountable injustices and contradictions face us, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY inspires concerned citizens and dreamers of all ages with new thinking to sustain their struggle and engagement.

82 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with UMass Boston Professor Marlene Kim and Northeastern University Professor Bonnie TuSmith to follow film screening.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS/W, Foreign Languages & Literatures, History, Linguistics & Philosophy, Literature, Office of Minority Education, and Political Science.

director Kim Longinotto

Friday - March 21, 2014

When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.

As with her other work (PINK SARIS, ROUGH AUNTIES, SISTERS IN LAW), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly. SALMA helps us understand why the goal of global education of girls is one the most critical areas of empowerment and development of women worldwide.

89 minutes. Subtitled. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with Professor Harleen Singh, Associate Professor of Literature and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University to follow.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS/W, Foreign Languages & Literatures, History, Linguistics & Philosophy, Literature and Political Science.

Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer
director Barbara Miller

Friday - March 28, 2014
[4 - 270]

Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk.

This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.

96 minutes. Subtitled. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with MIT Researcher Catherine D'Ignazio to follow film screening.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS/W, Foreign Languages & Literatures, History, Linguistics & Philosophy, Literature, and Political Science.

Off and Running: A Very American Coming of Age Story
director Nicole Opper

Monday - March 31, 2014
[ 6-120 ]

With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean—Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. She begins staying away from home, starts skipping school, and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring. OFF AND RUNNING follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.

60 minutes. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with film director Nicole Opper to follow film screening.

Cosponsored by: MIT CMS/W, History, and Political Science.


is a FREE roaming film festival


MIT Program in Women’s and Gender Studies; the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies; Boston College Women’s and Gender Studies Program; Boston University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Boston University School of Public Health Maternal/Child Health Program; Brandeis University Women’s and Gender Studies Program; Harvard University Women’s Center; Northeastern University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Simmons College Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; Tufts University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; UMass Boston Women’s and Gender Studies Department; Emerson College Department of Visual and Media Arts; Lesley University; and Women Make Movies.