In this week’s Wednesday 5 we share with you five documentaries featuring the lives and stories of radical women: the emergence of the modern women’s movement; the incredible prodigy Nina Simone; portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who challenge conventional ideas about beauty and aging; renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic; and a ferocious, funny, and poignant portrait of the one-of-a-kind Broadway legend, Elaine Stritch, as she reaches her 87th year.

 

1.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Trailer

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971.  The film takes us from the founding of NOW, with ladies in hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women’s liberation; from intellectuals like Kate Millett to the street theatrics of W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell!). Artfully combining dramatizations, performance, and archival imagery, the film recounts the stories of women who fought for their own equality, and in the process created a world-wide revolution. That story still resonates today for women who are facing new challenges around reproductive rights and sexual violence, as the film shows present-day activists creating their generation’s own version of feminism.

In theaters now. Find a screening here.

 

2.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

In a new Netflix Original Documentary, Director Liz Garbus chronicles Nina Simone’s journey from child piano prodigy to iconic musician and passionate activist, told in her own words.  The film, What Happened, Miss Simone?,  will receive its world premiere as a Day One (opening night) film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 22 to February 1, 2015. For the rest of us, the documentary will premiere exclusively Netflix users in 2015.

Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon, and legendary recording artist Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius, and tortured melancholy. In this  documentary, director Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.

On Netflix in 2015.

 

3.

Advanced Style

Advanced Style, Trailer

Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western culture’s increasing obsession with youth.

On Netflix.

 

4.

 Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

The Artist is Present, Trailer

In The Artist Is Present, follow renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic before, during, and after an exhibition of her work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, including her role as part of the exhibition, sitting motionless in an “energy dialogue” with the audience.

On Netflix.

.

5.

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Trailer

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is a ferocious, funny, and poignant portrait of the one-of-a-kind Broadway legend as she reaches her 87th year. Even after her death this year, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch remains indisputably in the spotlight. In the revealing and poignant Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, the uncompromising Tony and Emmy Award winner is showcased both on and off stage via rare archival footage and intimate cinema vérité.

Click here to read about the film directly from its producer and Women’s Voices board member Elizabeth Hemmerdinger.

On Netflix.

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Roz Warren December 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I enjoyed the Stritch bio. Looking forward to seeing the others.

    Reply