Lori Horvitz, literature professor and director of the women, gender and sexuality studies program at UNC Asheville, says she wanted to keep the movie selections at the F-Word Film Festival on the lighter side this year — “at least on the surface.”
In the two movies, punk rock and comic strips become powerful vehicles for discussing sexism, racism, abuse and inequality. And while the screenings — WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines and Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC — focus on feminism through the lens of entertainment, the issues they raise certainly carry weight.
A panel discussion with UNCA faculty and students will take place after the screenings. During that time, audience members will have a chance to explore and discuss some of the more “challenging and provoking moments” in the films, says Horvitz.
Horvitz, who has been organizing the film event since 2001, believes there is a great need for these types of discussions in and outside the classroom. “Sexism just seems normal when you’re not aware of it,” says Horvitz. “I think that’s the problem. A lot of people don’t even notice [sexism] if they aren’t particularly looking for it. And it’s important to notice.”
The F-Word Film Festival takes place Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall at UNCA. Free to the public.
See film descriptions from the respective studios below:
WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines:
The film traces the fascinating birth, evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of fictional and real-life superheroines fighting for positive role models for girls, both onscreen and off. From the birth of the 1940s comic book heroine, Wonder Woman, to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about strong and healthy women. 55 minutes.
Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC:
Fed up with the calcification of punk into a male-dominated, misogynistic and increasingly mainstream movement, the birth of Riot Grrrl in the late 1980s brought together feminism and pop culture in an empowering, noisy union. The angry music of Riot Grrrl bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile became a creative outlet to confront issues too often silenced in the media: rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism and female empowerment. Riot Grrrl created a feminist subculture which made its members active, front and center participants in the alternative punk scene. Filmmaker Abby Moser was at the heart of the NYC Riot Grrrl movement, filming them between 1993 and 1996, creating an invaluable archive for students learning the history of feminism. 42 minutes.