woman Handcuffed to gurney in a prison, Belly of the Beast

November 18, 2020

Filmmaker Exposes Shocking Pattern of Illegal Sterilizations in Women’s Prisons

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Erika Cohn has made powerful documentaries for Independent Lens before and is no stranger to telling intimate, surprising stories in tense environments: her Peabody Award-winning film The Judge showed Shari’a…...

Myya records for her campaign

October 20, 2020

How Three Passionate Candidates Represent Women Shaping the Future

Craig Phillips in Interviews

What does "representation" mean in the midst of a historically tense election year?  In her film Represent, filmmaker Hillary Bachelder sought to show the universal struggle to redefine repressive expectations…...

Signature image for sharing: John Lewis and many other civil rights protestors at the Edmund Pettis bridge at Selma, 1965. Black and White news photo in pub domain.

July 10, 2020

“Your Vote Is Your Voice”: Best Films About Voting Rights

Sharon Knolle in Film History

The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights in a Democracy, and yet who has been allowed to vote in America has been a battle that’s been…...

GAI QI and her baby, in Leftover Women
Beyond the Films

February 05, 2020

The One-Child Policy Legacy on Women and Relationships in China

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Kristal Sotamayor The one-child policy was introduced to China in 1979, written into the national constitution in 1982, and subsequently ended in 2015. Over the 36 years of the…...

Xu Min, from Leftover Women, speaks to single men at a matchmaker event in China

February 05, 2020

Filmmakers Follow Women in China Trying to Overcome Stigma of Being Single

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Israeli filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia have had films air on international television as well as here in the U.S. on HBO, MTV, Sundance, and PBS (Medalia has received…...

At the Kennedy Space Center, seven women who once aspired to fly into space stand outside Launch Pad 39B neat the Space Shuttle Discovery, poised for liftoff on the first flight of 1995. They are members of the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (FLATs, also known as the
Beyond the Films

June 28, 2019

Women of the Space Agency: Once Forbidden, No Longer Hidden

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Heather Archuletta In July of 1999, on Apollo 11’s 30th anniversary, at a Kennedy Space Center press conference, NASA astronaut and first moonwalker Neil Armstrong lamented, “School children used…...

Woman soldier in the army pledging allegiance with US flag behind her; image by By Sean Locke Photography and Shutterstock
Beyond the Films

May 27, 2018

Things Only Women Who Served in the Military Would Understand

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

We asked a few women veterans one question and one question only: What are things only women who've served in the military would understand?  Denyse Gordon (at right), who served 12 years…...

Dolores Huerta at a press conference, as seen in the movie Dolores
Independent Film

March 07, 2018

From Jane to Dolores, Agnès to Elsa, Documentaries on Unheralded Women Who Made History

Sharon Knolle in Independent Film

In celebration of Women's History Month (every March), we focus on great recent documentaries about great women, all who forged their own path in times and places where that wasn't expected…...

Unrest filmmaker Jen Brea

January 04, 2018

Filmmaker with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Investigates Her Own Medical Mystery in Unrest

Craig Phillips in Interviews

To say filmmaker Jen Brea has made the most of her challenging situation would be a vast understatement. Burdened with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), she produced her film Unrest…...

Naomi Kutin gets make-up before her Bat Mitzvah, in Supergirl
Beyond the Films

December 11, 2017

On Supergirls, Sasha Fierce, Slim Shady and Having an Alter Ego

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Michelle Konstantinovsky Naomi Kutin is technically the central subject of the new Independent Lens documentary Supergirl. But as the film unfolds, viewers learn fairly quickly that there are actually two equally important…...

Maya Angelou headscarf at fence headscarf, credit: Wayne Miller/Magnum

March 22, 2017

Nine Great Documentaries About Women Activists

Sharon Knolle in Lists

As Women’s History Month continues, we’re shining the spotlight on women activists who faced down injustice, pioneered paths for other women and girls, or have fought heroically trying to save…...

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke with slate and monitor
Film History

July 11, 2016

From Alice Guy-Blaché to Barbara Kopple: The Pioneering Women of Documentary Film

Maryann Johanson in Film History

When we talk about the early years of cinema, there is no separating “the history of women in film” from “the history of film.” Women have been there from the beginning,…...