July 8, 2007

If You're Reading This Blog...

This blog is a course blog for GWSS 3307 - Feminist Film Studies in the Women's, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota, Summer 2007.

The course has ended.

Please feel free to browse the site, and remember blogs happen in reverse chronology, so if you want to start at the beginning, click HERE and scroll to the bottom, or browse the links on the right-hand sidebar.


July 7, 2007


This is another movie that I loved watching the most because of the depiction it shows for the widow’s women. It illustrates widows struggle to survive and shows the hidden rituals, which has been practices in India. Before, I did not know much about the Indian culture. Although, my roots are from India but I been brought up here in the States so seeing something like this was shocking and painful. It was shocking and painful because people in India, have been advanced and educated, but they still believe in such practices and discrimination toward widows which is not at all equal.

Film screened on Class: Piano

Reaction to the Piano by Jane Champion

I like the movie, Piano because I could reflect myself in the movie at times. I love playing Piano and like Ada, I can really express myself through Piano; so whether is an anger or frustration.
I loved the setting and the settle atmosphere around it. Furthermore, the use of water in the movies was amazing at times. The background music also played an important role in the movie. It demonstrates Ada’s character, her feelings and frustrations even more. Again, like Ada I could reflect myself at times being near by the water and not wanting to be disturbed by anyone and just be myself.
Overall, I love this movie compare to the rest of the movies I saw in the class, because this movie brings out everything that we learned in this class.


I thought Water by Deepa Mehta was an incredibly well-made movie.
The context of this movie is based on the discrimination against widowed women, no matter what age, in 1938
India, although this discrimination continues on even today. Water really does an amazing job exposing this situation to the audience without any dramatization in the lives of these women. It seems that Deepa Mehta made this movie, especially for educational purposes to bring about awareness, because she did not over-dramatize for entertainment purposes. As a viewer without any previous knowledge of the situation in India, I felt that I could trust Deepa Mehta and believe everything in this film.
The content of this movie shows a nine year old girl named Chuyia who is recently widowed and does not even remember getting married, which shows how poor her family must have been to have to marry her off at such a young age at that time; or maybe it was just the custom. Anyhow, with a shaven head marking her as a widow, she is forced to live in a house for widows to eventually die in, called an ashram. Here, the viewer is shown the oppressed lives of widows who are treated as half dead corpses, eating only one meal a day; and being treated unfairly: one woman says, "You've polluted me, now I have to bathe again," to Kalyani, a young widow, who falls in love with a man from the gentry class. By the end of the movie, Chuyia is forced into prostitution by her the head sister of the ashram, and then sent off on a train with Ghandi by another sister who wants to protect her and do something about the discrimination of widows.
The form of this movie was very well thought out. The color pallete was a blue, and green, and very dark. Light was used to show beauty and positivity in the depressing world of widows. An interesting part of this movie was the lack of words. There was barely any dialogue. However, I loved this part because whenever someone DID say something, it was to state something important. Every other sentence made a statement to illustrate the lives of widows in India and what some progressive Indians were doing to try to bring enlightenment to the situation. Also, music was a big part of this movie. For example, Kalyani's lover frequently played a flute, which symbolizes the blooming love between him and Kalyani. However, when Kalyani commits suicide at the end of the movie, the sound of the flute is played again, symbolizing that the love will continue on for widows like Kalyani.
I really like this movie. I liked everything about it from its content and especially its form. The colors and music used in this movie did a big part in provoking emotions from me. I think Deepa Mehta did an amazing job.

July 6, 2007

Born Into Brothels

We didn’t actually screen this film in class, but we were going to and I wanted to post about it because I have seen it before.

Continue reading "Born Into Brothels" »

Final Paper

For my final paper I looked at the relationship between true stories and cinematic representations of them.
I was pulled into that question because I was still very intrigued by the film Boys Don't Cry (which I wrote my mid-term about) and the fact that this was based on something that actually happened.

Continue reading "Final Paper" »

July 5, 2007

Women in Magazine Advertisements

For those of you who are interested, here are the links to the ad "touch-ups":
* G!rlpower - Retouch
* Greg Apodaca's Digital Portfolio (I forgot to mention, there's a retouched image of a male in these -- but not nearly as much is done!)
* The Art of DeTouch

Here, also, is the list of "stereotypical criteria" -- although when you really think about it, this isn't a complete list ...

Continue reading "Women in Magazine Advertisements" »

Feminist Film..

For me the definition of feminist film has changed tremendous because before taking this I never thought about a feminist filmmaker. My previous thinking about feminist film was that it is a society of women; although, I have totally been mistaken all long with the terminology but after this class and learning through the process has taught me what it really mean. It means feminist film can include either men or women. It means someone who believes in being treated with equality or vise versa, believing in humanitarian and trading fairness among all regardless of gender difference. This class has taught me that discriminating women based of their gender role is not going to solve the gender issues rather we all have to work together to created a stable, global and social economy.
Some of the people who I think are feminist filmmaker includes Gurinder Chadha, Jane Champion, Laura Mulvey, and Sally Potter. I chose them because their work illustrate the fairness and equality in movies or documantarey and they portray the stories of reality.I also chose them because they believe in being humanatarian.
link: http://www.britmovie.co.uk/biog/c/014.html



Is Hollywood Racist?

"In recent years, with A list actors such as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry achieving widespread acclaim and success at the Oscars, there has been a sense that Hollywood is embracing black artists more than ever before."
-Anna Park, a regional attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission

Really? She could only think of two? Out of hundreds of actors? She is saying this as a good thing, but i think otherwise.

Continue reading "Is Hollywood Racist?" »

Women in Prison Flms - “Women so hot with desire they melt the chains that enslave them?


Continue reading "Women in Prison Flms - “Women so hot with desire they melt the chains that enslave them?" »

Hero & House Of Flying Daggers

A blurb on Director Yimou Zhang and his films Hero and House of Flying Daggers

Continue reading "Hero & House Of Flying Daggers" »


I decided to do my final paper on how feminist filmmakers seek “real? stories to make their films about such as Kimberly Pierce and Lourdes Portillo.

Continue reading "Final" »

Femme Fatale Filmmakers

What is it that makes a feminist filmmaker a feminist filmmaker?

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The Roles and Representations of Women in Trois Couleurs

A feminist analysis of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s films can reveal that despite his appreciation of women’s creativity, beauty and complexity (as each one of his heroine are well rounded characters), the Three Colors trilogy retell and enforce the existing order of patriarchy. In each one of these films a woman challenges patriarchy as she chooses to live without a man (in Blue), engage in unauthorized sexual activity (White) or just live far away from the man in her life (Red), but each one of these films concludes with the heroine surrendering her power to men or being forcibly surrender by it.

Continue reading "The Roles and Representations of Women in Trois Couleurs" »

What Makes Media Feminist?

The answer to this question is very completed on one level and very simple on another: the more simple answer is that any movie (or other form of media) that deliver or present feminist values and critiques racist, sexist, patriarchal and oppressive ways of thinking or practices. This relatively simple answer becomes more complex since there are many disagreement on what is “the feminist thing to do? in many cases, or what different feminism say on the same issue.

One such example can be the sex industry: Julia Query’s film Live Nude Girls Unite can be seen by a second wave feminists as a documentary that shows how oppressed women internalized their sexual oppression so much they are fighting for the right to continue be treated like sex-objects rather than whole and full human beings who deserve to maintain their physical and emotional dignity. A third-waver, on the other hand, may see this film as a documentary about women power and empowerment, and therefore a feminist film. Both of these views are feminist, and both have some valid point that are worthy of consideration. So is Live Nude Girls Unite a feminist film?

Continue reading "What Makes Media Feminist?" »