China’s women have always been under pressure: from men, from family, from work. Now more and more are under new pressure — from themselves — to take control of their lives; to get an education; to have a career; to marry for love. It’s a slow, difficult process, and it is changing China. Mass migration from the countryside to the cities is increasing prosperity, but fracturing families. It also gives women new roles — whether running the farm back home, or as wage-earners in the city.
The film also explores the discrimination suffered by Xinjiang’s Muslim women, the hardships of life in Tibet, and China’s tragic suicide figures: China has one of the highest suicide rates for women in the world: 150,000 a year. One every four minutes. Finally, we see a glimpse of urban life where the younger generation of women has left the countryside for factory work in the cities. The hours and conditions are tough but the women are slowly gaining confidence and independence.
The question that really comes out of this is ‘why are boys behaving in this way?’ ‘Why is 90% of violence committed by boys and men?’ It’s not just in these few places (like video games or movies) but it’s in what passes for normal culture. It is part of the normal training and conditioning and socializing of boys and men. That’s a point that a lot of people don’t want to hear, but if you look at the culture these kids are immersed in, violence is a normal, natural part, not just of the world, but of being masculine or being a male person in the world. It’s not just in these few places (like video games or movies) but it’s in what passes for normal culture.
In this innovative and wide-ranging analysis, Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity. This exciting new media literacy tool– utilizing racially diverse subject matter and examples– will enlighten and provoke students (both males and females) to evaluate their own participation in the culture of contemporary masculinity.
In the United States the average age of entry into prostitution is just thirteen. The film takes us into the work of a former sexually exploited youth-turned-activist named Rachel Lloyd, who started the New York City organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) to help victimized young women escape their pimps and find another way of life.
Married at 16 years – with 18 years of violence following – left Wendy terrified. She summoned the courage to deal with her husband the only way she knew possible. Originally as One Minute to Nine, this documentary finally arrives at HBO with a somewhat more in-your-face title – and, in a stark, spare way that has come to characterize the pay channel, delivers a pretty bracing wallop. A harrowing portrait of domestic abuse, the project draws heavily on video shot by the dead abuser, as his wife, Wendy Maldonado, spends her final days of freedom before going to jail for his murder. The net result is every bit as chilling and depressing as one might expect. Includes captions for the hearing impaired.
This documentary features the ‘Introduction Services’ available in Thailand to men from overseas seeking Thai women for marriage. Although presented in a fairly light-hearted format, it was very thought-provoking. Of course, to most of us the notion of these agencies is abhorrent to say the least. However, largely due to the style of presentation, it was quite revealing to listen to the viewpoints of the ‘clients’ and owners, who seemed to feel comfortable expressing their views. Louis Theroux’ style, which does not at first appear overly challenging, allows a truer insight into a person’s behaviour and makes him/her less defensive and consequently more candid.
Cutting Edge explores the purity movement in America, where one girl in every six pledges to remain a virgin, or to save her first kiss, until her wedding day. Award-winning documentary-maker Jane Treays investigates whether this decision is made by the girls themselves or their parents, and follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a `purity ball’ in Colorado Springs, run by Randy Wilson and his wife Lisa.
Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America. Focusing on New York City, the film reveals that there is much to distrust behind hospital doors and follows several couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. There is an unexpected turn when director Epstein not only discovers she is pregnant, but finds the life of her child on the line. Should most births should be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?