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Gender & Women's Studies

Birth Control and the Law

Until the Griswold case, which neutralized the Comstock Law and reinforced the right to privacy, the vast majority of Americans had little access to birth control. This television news program investigates urban overpopulation and the struggle to provide family planning counseling and contraceptives to those wanting them. Includes interviews with Margaret Sanger, Estelle Griswold, various religious and health officials and discusses the differences in moral attitudes towards birth control of Catholics and non-Catholics.

Birth of Perception: the American Story on RU-486

Explores the heated controversy in America surrounding the struggle to get the French abortion pill RU-486 (mifepristone) approved for use in the United States. Directed & written by Kristine Clark. c1997. 45 min.

Black and White

In a small New Zealand hospital in 1953, the birth of Mani Bruce Mitchell caused a mild pandemonium. Fifty years later, this film interweaves the stories of this intersex activist and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan, exploring their potent creative collaboration. This fascinating documentary introduces viewers to notions of fluid gender identity, challenging the rigid categories of 'male' and 'female'. Produced and directed by Kirsty MacDonald. 2006. 17 min.

Black Hair and Black-eyed

A film by Julie Whang.From what sources does a young Korean-American lesbian draw her sense of identity? From her mother, from fashion magazines, from the boy she dances with, or the girl she sleeps with, or her own barren apartment? Dist.: Frameline. 1994. 9 min.

Black Women On: The Light, Dark Thang

Explores the politics of color within the African-American community. Afro-American women, representing a variety of hues, speak candidly about the longstanding "caste system" that permeates black society and share personal stories about how being too light or too dark has profoundly influenced their life and relationships. A film by Celeste Crenshaw and Paula Caffey. c1999. 52 min.

Related web sites: Women Make Movies catalog description

Black Women Writers

A discussion dealing with criticism by black men that black women writers have achieved their success by focusing criticism on black males. Dist.: Films Media Group. c1992. 28 min.

Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution

Black feminist women speak candidly on issues of sex, class and gender roles. The film examines how African American women deal with issues of poverty, battering, and lack of health care, and addresses how women's roles in community activism are often overlooked or ignored. Also examines the media portrayal of Afro-American women with an emphasis on the representation of Black women in music videos. 1991. 30 min.

Black, Bold & Beautiful: Black Women's Hair

Explores some of the tangled dilemmas surrounding black hairstyles -- to "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" and nappy -- choices which raise questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. This informative primer examines the importance of various hairstyles to Afro-American women and how these styles define the personal identity of each woman. Director, Nadine Valcin 1998. 40 min.

Related web sites: Women Make Movies catalog description


Once a fanatical rising star in the white supremacist movement, Greg Winthrow grapples with a legacy of hatred handed down across generations in this haunting documentary. The film reveals how class divisions are masked by racial confict and follows the intense, angry and breathtakingly resourceful Winthrow as he grapples with his own redemption from a heritage of violence. 1998. 58 min.

Related web sites: Description from Berkeley Media LLC catalog