Growing Up Female. 1971. USA. Directed by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein. 52 min.
“I wish every high school kid in America could see this film.” – Susan Sontag
Growing Up Female is the very first feature-length film of the modern women’s movement. At turns controversial and exhilarating upon its release, the film looks at female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women, ages four to 35, and the forces that shape them: teachers, counselors, advertising, music, and the institution of marriage. It was widely used by consciousness-raising groups to generate interest and help explain feminism to a skeptical society. It offers us a chance to see how much has changed as well as how much remains the same. Selected to the National Film Registry in 2011.
Union Maids. 1976. USA. Directed by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, Miles Mogulescu. 48 min.
Told through the eyes of three remarkable women, Union Maids opens up one of the great untold stories in our history: the fight to form industrial unions in the first half of the 20th century. The film follows Stella, Sylvia, and Kate as they leave their small farms for the bright lights of Chicago and the promise of greater job opportunities. Through humorous storytelling, the women recount their experiences of working 14 hours a day in factories where management had all the power and workers—especially women and minorities—had none. A compelling history of the era unfolds as they recall their first union meetings, the days of sit-down strikes, organizing the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the stockyards, and facing police shotguns to fight the evictions of unemployed workers. Union Maids was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Digital preservation and the restored 16 mm prints made possible by The Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television