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Parents' Guide to

Feminists: What Were They Thinking?

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Affecting docu about 1970s feminism; nude photos, language.

Movie NR 2018 86 minutes
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Although "feminist" is a loaded tag -- shunned by many (even women), claimed joyfully by others -- this absorbing film delights in the term as it centers on women who were there in the 1970s. Johanna Demetrakas uses every frame of this 86-minute film to bring this "second wave of feminism" (the first being the early fight for the right to vote) to life. It's not nearly long enough; the issues are legion and the viewpoints infinite, but what it lacks in depth, it makes up for with spirit, insight, and humor. Even the most objectified of women, the most victimized among them, manage to find the bright side of those years. Because in spite of the scars they carry, they won.

Surprising to some may be the struggles of women of color, whose specific challenges at the time seem to have been sacrificed for what the leaders of the movement thought was "the greater good." Demetrakas' portraits of young women and the probable "third wave" of the movement along with #MeToo and #TimesUp add considerable heft to the relevance of Feminists: What Were They Thinking? Recommended both for those who lived during the period and for those who will be enlightened by it.

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