Women, War, and Gloria Steinem

By Laura K. Garrison

The Athena Film Festival may be over, but the movies are still available to reinforce the festival’s message and provide you with a good study break if you find something interesting (see a complete list of the movies shown at the festival). Here are short reviews of two documentaries that you can either catch on HBO or watch online.

Women, War, and Peace: War Redefined

In a war-torn world, we often see conflict from the viewpoint of the men on the battlefield. Rarely do we pause and think of how war affects those at home, specifically women and their children. Women, War, and Peace: War Redefined, however, challenges the conventional outlook on war and focuses on the homefront. This moving PBS documentary interweaves stories of women from countries such as Liberia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Colombia with interviews of top officials, most notably former Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice and former First Lady and current Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton. In the years since the end of the Cold War, war has become a morbid game that targets civilians, and in many parts of the world, making it more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier during conflict. A perfect choice for those interested in international politics, Women, War, and Peace: War Redefined offers an emotional perspective to a subject that is often clinically discussed, if mentioned at all.

The entire series is available online.

Gloria: In Her Own Words

Gloria Steinem, rockin’ the
aviators in the 70s

Today, Gloria Steinem is considered more than a just leader of the women’s liberation movement; she’s a feminist icon to women around the world. In this HBO documentary, Steinem tells her life story with the help of video clips, photographs, and publications that chart her rise from an up-and-coming journalist to a prominent leader during the Second-Wave Feminism movement of the 1960s and 70s. An inspiration to many students and faculty on the Barnard campus, Steinem herself was present at the screening of Gloria: In Her Own Words for a Q and A session with Barnard graduate Amy Richards, a writer and activist working for women’s rights today. While the documentary itself was a comprehensive and poignant synopsis of her life, the real treat of the evening was having the opportunity to hear Steinem speak on issues that currently face feminist activists today. A good selection for any member of the Barnard community, Gloria: In Her Own Words was an excellent program to learn about and hear from Gloria Steinem herself.

For an interview with Gloria Steinem, and a schedule of when the documentary will next show on HBO, click here.

Laura is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for
The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of Henry Makow.


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