Films for the Feminist Classroom (FFC) is hosted by the Department of Women's Studies at Texas Woman’s University, formerly hosted by the Rutgers-based editorial offices of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and the Rutgers Women’s and Gender Studies Department. FFC, an online, open-access journal, publishes film reviews that provide a critical assessment of the value of films as pedagogical tools in the feminist classroom. Special features, such as interviews with filmmakers, reviews of film festivals, and discussions about pedagogy are included to further promote engagement and discussion. FFC endeavors to serve as a dynamic resource for educators and librarians and to enhance feminist curricula, bringing film into the classroom through thought-provoking, relevant, and dynamic content.

Issue 5.2

Films for the Feminist Classroom issue 5.2 is here!

Two voices from the world of film distribution open up issue 5.2. We are delighted that Debra Zimmerman, the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, sat down for an interview about her work with this organization—established over four decades ago—and in the film world more broadly. Elinor Kowarsky is a new voice in documentary distribution with Film Platform, to which she introduces us through the platform’s many opportunities for teaching and learning with film. This special feature highlights into the processes and politics of distributing films, addressing the ways each project negotiates their links with filmmakers, the tools and obstacles related to technology, and the shifting practices of viewership.

A lesson plan presented by a composition professor offers practical tips for developing an essay assignment that analyzes the rhetoric of documentary films. Emily White takes us through the steps involved, from showing the film, to assigning the essay, to the peer review process. We also learn about BolderLife a Denver, CO–based film and art festival from Jessica Camp. This event specifically targets young people, organizing film showings, panel discussions, art exhibits, and workshops.

A number of the films reviewed in this issue confront us with the politics of labor. One review focuses on women in the workforce while others explore women as filmmakers and practices of midwifery. Sexuality and embodiment continues to be a prominent topic with reviews about girlhood, fat politics, virginity, and mail-order brides. And we appreciate the ways reviewers grappled the violence of war and incarceration through films about Rwandan women forced to be soldiers and about women in the US prison industrial complex. Some of the films reviewed in this issue are Catching Babies, Africa is a Woman’s Name, La Americana, Women Behind Bars: The Voices of Oklahoma’s Incarcerated Women and Their Children, The Fat Body (In)Visible, In the Name of Love: Modern Day Mail Order Brides, The Purity Myth: The Virginity Movement’s War Against Women, Understanding Hookup Culture, and Duhozanye: A Rwandan Village of Widows.

Films for the Feminist Classroom welcomes review proposals, suggestions of regional and international film festivals to cover in future issues, and lesson plans that include film or video media. Please see our call for proposals and contact ffc@twu.edu for more information.