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Documentary Film

Painting the World with True Colors: An Interview with Two Jewish Women Helping to Tell an Incredible Story

In the one instant of silence between the curtain and the applause I remember feeling alive. I remember feeling like my heart had been ripped out of my chest, bounced down a basketball court, and thrown through the hoop for the winning shot. Then we (the audience) erupted in cheers. I was elated, proud, and profoundly humbled.

Taking stock of the “unfinished revolution”

There are those pioneers who are out to change the world—think Betty Friedan, whose book The Feminine Mystique, 50 years after its publication, continues to spark conversation and debate about women’s roles.

“Women Who Make America”

For the past year, I’ve enjoyed paying regular visits to MAKERS.com, a growing online collection of video interviews with an impressive array of women who have made a mark on the last half century of American history.

95 Lives: A Film You Should Know About

Ever wanted to learn more about an amazing, captivating, female pioneer only to find the story undocumented, or worse, simply buried? That's what happened to me when I discovered the work of Jewish American photographer Helen Levitt. I am making a film to fill that gaping hole. 95 Lives uncovers Helen Levitt's legendary career documenting NYC streets for 70 years and transforming American street photography forever. Born in 1913 in Brooklyn to Jewish Russian parents, Levitt died at aged 95 with an outpouring of obituaries celebrating her art while noting her disdain for fame.

"Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?"

Yael Kohen’s new book, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, has many revealing tales about how change happens. But one stands out for me: in 1966, the actress Marlo Thomas approached the head of ABC-TV programming with a novel idea. She wanted “to play the person with the problem, not the person who assisted the person with the problem.” She recalled:

I didn’t want to be the wife of somebody, or the secretary of somebody, or the daughter of somebody…”Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?” And he said, “Would anybody watch a show like that?” I said, “I think they would.” And so I gave him a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and he read it and kind of became convinced.

"Yiddish Theater: A Love Story" debuts in Manhattan

November 28, 2007

“In that week we learned the meaning not only of perseverance, but also of the love of art for art's sake."

Phyllis Schlafly: Groundbreaker for Women's Rights?

For today’s young feminists, the name Phyllis Schlafly may be totally unfamiliar; if anything, it triggers a distant memory of a footnote in an AP US History textbook. Those activists who lived and fought during the Second Wave are, however, all too familiar with the uber-conservative activist.

"To call into question..."

We are a little more than six months from the end of the world (!) Or from the end of the world as we know it—December 21, 2012.

Aviva Kempner

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner was born in Berlin after World War II to an American father and a Polish mother. Her childhood was marked by the experience of her parents during and after the war. Her desire to understand them led her to a career in filmmaking.

Lucy Kramer Cohen: A public-spirited woman/a private inner life

Ever dream of making a film about someone you wanted the world to know more about?

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Documentary Film." (Viewed on December 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/documentary-film>.

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