Film

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Rama Burshtein

As an Ultra-Orthodox filmmaker working within her own community, Rama Burshtein offers a view of Haredi life rarely depicted onscreen.

Edith Head

Edith Head’s brilliant eye for design earned her a record eight Oscars for Best Costume Design for movies that included Roman Holiday (1954) and The Sting (1974).

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder’s capacity to depict quirky characters with empathy made her a cinematic icon for outsiders throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Dimona Twist Movie Poster

A Review of Dimona Twist

Mitali Desai

Upon arriving at the theater, I realize quickly that I am the youngest person in attendance by decades.This night of the film festival is titled “An Evening of Empowering Sephardi Women,” and I’m here to see Dimona Twist, an Israeli film created by documentarian Michal Aviad. Dimona Twist recounts the history of North African and Eastern European immigrants to Dimona, a development town in Southern Israel, told through individual stories of seven women.

Topics: Israel, Film

Margot Klausner

Co-founder of the first film laboratory in Israel, Margot Klausner helped produce some of the most important documentaries and feature films of the Zionist era.

Zoe Wanamaker

Despite her many years acting on Broadway and with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, Zoe Wanamaker may be best known to younger audiences for her role as Madame Hooch in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Tovah Feldshuh

Tovah Feldshuh set a record for the longest running one-woman show with her starring role in Golda’s Balcony, a Broadway play about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Gal Gadot cropped

Can Wonder Woman Come Fix Our World Now, Please?

Emily Cataneo

At the onset of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, protagonist Diana Prince has spent her millennia-long life on Themyscira, an idyllic Mediterranean colony of Amazonian women where she grows up learning badass warrior skills from wise matriarchs. The plot kicks off when an American pilot crash-lands off the island’s coast. He tells Diana, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, about a cataclysmic war raging back in the world of men, instigated by the bad guys. Who are the bad guys? she asks. He explains succinctly: the Germans.

Topics: Feminism, Film
The Wedding Plan (2017) Movie Poster

Rama Burshtein’s “The Wedding Plan”

Elena Hoffenberg

I did not know what to expect from a romantic comedy about a woman intent on getting married in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, but The Wedding Plan by Rama Burshtein is one of the most feminist films I’ve ever seen.

Topics: Comedy, Film

Didi Conn

Didi Conn became famous for her role as Frenchy in Grease, then used her fame to advocate for autistic children and their families.
Rising Voices Fellow Molly Pifko Dressed as Princess Leia

The Women of Star Wars: Princesses and Jedi

Molly Pifko

When I was ten years old, I dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween. I dressed up as her because I admired her, and because I felt like I had no choice. My brother and I were both deep in our Star Wars phases, and I knew I had to match his Darth Vader costume with an iconic character of my own. Of course, as a little girl, there weren’t many iconic female characters to choose from, but I didn’t mind too much at the time. 

Topics: Children, Film
Emma Stone

The 21st Century Scarlet Letter: A Look at How the High School Rumor Mill Affects Teenage Sexuality

Hannah Himmelgreen

I was a sophomore when I first stumbled across Easy A on my Netflix browser one lonely Friday night. The green poster, exclaiming in bold lettering, “Let’s Not and Say We Did,” was the first thing to pop up under the “Top Picks For Hannah” banner. It instantly grabbed my attention. Intrigued, I clicked play. 

Topics: Schools, Film, Fiction
Rising Voices Fellow Aliza Abusch-Magder

Radical Feminist Idea: Independent Identity

Aliza Abusch-Magder

Her struggles are relatable, and her story is compelling, giving hope that we too can break free from the patriarchy. By talking about her life with such brutal honesty, Liz Gilbert provides a cautionary tale for women about what happens when we define ourselves by our relationships with men. 

Topics: Feminism, Marriage, Film
Disney's Zootopia

Zootopia: An Empowering, Feminist Tail

Abigail Fisher

Zootopia actively addresses the struggles associated with being a woman in a modern, though patriarchal, society. Let’s just say, this isn’t your grandmother’s Disney movie (but maybe she would like it). 

Topics: Feminism, Film
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Jewish-American Witches

Sarah Biskowitz

Despite my positive feelings about them, I was disappointed that Tina and Queenie didn’t acknowledge their Jewishness, that the movie left this part of their identity ambiguous. Sometimes it’s fun as a Jewish viewer to get winks that fictional characters may be members of the tribe. The hints of Judaism in Fantastic Beasts, like Tina’s middle name being Esther and a glimpse of a challah, made me smile. But since having two Jewish women starring in such a global, mainstream fantasy film would be monumental, I wished that Tina and Queenie had claimed their heritage proudly like I do.

Topics: Film, Fiction
The Disney Princesses

The Disney Princess Phenomenon

Lili Klayman

From an early age, I learned that diversity in mainstream media was seriously lacking. I grew up in an era when mainstream media was mostly dominated by white, heterosexual people. One example of this is the Disney princesses

Dorit Rabinyan

Dorit Rabinyan was an acclaimed writer even before publishing her controversial novel Borderlife, with its focus on an Israeli-Palestinian romance.
Hidden Figures Movie Still

Hidden Figures, Hidden Stories

Lisa Batya Feld

There is a repeated scene throughout Hidden Figures in which Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) types her name into the bylines of her reports only to be told that “computers” (most of whom are women) don’t author papers; she must erase her identity from her work.

Topics: Film
Carrie Fisher

Jewish Intergalatic Princess

Lisa Batya Feld

I was five when I saw Star Wars for the first time at my friend Danny’s house. We loved it so much that we spent the next two years playing games where we clambered up on rocks and swung down on tree branches like we were maneuvering through the Death Star together.

Topics: Comedy, Film, Memoirs

Carrie Fisher

While Carrie Fisher was best known for her early film roles, she spent most of her career as a script doctor, shaping characters for others to play.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Known as much for her glamorous lifestyle and playful remarks about marriage as for her acting roles, Zsa Zsa Gabor thrived in the spotlight.

Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz’s film career has spanned films from action movies like The Mummy to more nuanced roles in The Constant Gardner and Denial.
Brochure of The Wild Cat of Bombay (1927)

India’s Jewish Silent Film Stars and the Power of the Outsider

Mitali Desai

When one exists in opposition to the status quo because of her ethnicity, it feels more natural to also begin to question the significance of gender and other means of social stratification. I am not an average Jew or an average Indian. Why would I try to be an “average” woman, to conform to archaic rules and norms that have nothing to do with me?

Topics: Film
Group Shot, 2016 Ghostbusters

Who Ya Gonna Call? Feminism and Race in This Summer's Ghostbusters Reboot

Bella Book

This summer, paranormal activity gets a new set of adversaries as four awkward and highly intelligent women come together to prove not only that ghosts are real, but that women are capable of rebooting a previously all-male franchise.

Topics: Feminism, Film

Jazz Jennings

Through her YouTube channel and reality TV show, Jazz Jennings is working to increase public understanding and acceptance of transgender teens like herself.
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