Contribute Now
March 2014: Women's History Programming | Topics | WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list
  • Click to make a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • In Partnership With:
  • PBS
  • NPR

March 2014: Women's History Programming

Posted by WMHT Web Editor

Women’s History:

March 4, 2014 at 8pm: America ReFramed: The LuLu Sessions
LuLu is unlike anyone you've ever met. A hard-living, chain-smoking rebel with a tender heart. A poet with a potty mouth. Farm girl. Former cheerleader. Worldclass cancer researcher. Beloved professor. Dr. Louise Nutter, or LuLu has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when she finds out she is dying of breast cancer herself at 42. Shot during those last 15 months of LuLu's life, The LuLu Sessions is a raw, intimate, yet surprisingly humorous story about the filmmaker showing up for her best friend and ex-something, and together, testing the limits of their bond while taking on life's ultimate adventure.


March 5, 2014 at 10:30am & 4:30pm: Living Courageously: The Spirit of Women
LIVING COURAGEOUSLY: THE SPIRIT OF WOMEN celebrates the courage of women in times of crisis. The half-hour documentary, which also features insights from actress and advocate Jane Seymour, profiles three American women whose lives have been transformed by challenging - even devastating - circumstances. Alison Levine overcame a life-threatening heart condition to become an international mountain climber, lead the first U.S. women's Everest expedition and head a foundation that helps Ugandan women find work as mountain guides. Once involved with drugs and alcohol, Francine Ward's nearfatal car accident transformed her; she earned her law degree and now coaches women on self-esteem issues and works with teenagers struggling with addiction. Photographer Sheila Hagler - the first member of her family to graduate from college - now works with at-risk teens in a rural Alabama community devastated by Hurricane Katrina.


March 5, 2014 at 7pm: Independent Lens: Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
This program traces the evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, this film looks at how popular e-presentations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.


March 5, 2014 at 8pm: Independent Lens: Strong
Cheryl Haworth is a young woman with a big dream: to be the strongest woman in the world. As the 300-pound U.S. Olympic weightlifter prepares for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, she struggles with injury, confidence and her place in a world where larger women are not readily accepted.


March 6, 2014 at 8pm: Julia Robinson and Hilbert’s Tenth Problem
Narrated by actress Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years), JULIA ROBINSON AND HILBERT'S TENTH PROBLEM presents the inspiring life story of the pioneering American mathematician Julia Robinson (1919-1985) and charts her major contribution to solving one of the 20th century's most vexing mathematical questions - Hilbert's Tenth. The documentary is pieced together by a wide array of archival footage, stills and recordings, recollections from other mathematicians - including the three others responsible for solving H10 - and warm reminiscences by her sister/biographer, Constance Reid.

March 7, 2014 at 7pm: Makers: Women Who Make America
This comprehensive and innovative series tells the compelling story of women's advancement in America over the past 50 years. It is a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, on grand stages like the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, and humbler ones like the boardroom and the bedroom. The series features the stories of those who led the fight, those who opposed it and those -- both famous and unknown -- caught up in its wake. Meryl Streep narrates the three-hour stack, which features commentary and the stories of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric, and Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly, among others.

March 9, 2014 at 11pm: Global Voices: I Was Worth 50 Sheep
Following a long practiced tradition in Afghanistan, 10-year-old Sabere was sold to a man in his fifties. For the next six years she was both slave and wife, miscarrying four times. Now at sixteen, she is fighting for her freedom.

March 11, 2014 at 8pm: America ReFramed: Fight Like a Girl
Told from a first person perspective, Fight Like A Girl is about women overcoming their demons through boxing, while telling a larger story about abuse, trauma, mental illness and healing. In a gritty, first-person narrative that was shot over a period of five years, filmmaker Jill Morley delves inside the little-known world of female boxers to meet the women who are passionate about fighting hard. She gets pulled in to this culture as she trains for the New York Golden Gloves. From world champions to amateurs training for local tournaments, Jill discovers they all have a lot in common. Throughout the film, how she and the other women she trains with arrive at boxing is revealed. The real emotional history, and traumas bubble up fleshing out a compelling story about women overcoming adversity in what many consider a violent sport. The program includes a conversation with Host Natasha Del Toro and special guests about issues raised in the film.

March 12, 2014 at 6pm & 9pm: Frontline: Outlawed in Pakistan
When Pakistani teenager Kainat Soomro accused four men of gang rape, the courageous young woman did not put her suffering behind her. For this unforgettable documentary, which premiered at Sundance, filmmakers Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann spent five years tracing both Kainat's odyssey through Pakistan's broken justice system-and her alleged rapists' quest to clear their names. The result is a powerful and nuanced profile of courag in a society where rape victims and their families are often considered dishonorable and subjected to humiliation, poverty, and mortal danger.

March 13, 2014 at 6pm & 9pm: Women in Chemistry: Life Lessons from the Laboratory 
A documentary profiling eight remarkable women who have made important contributions to the field of chemistry. The Women in Chemistry project set out to present a group of eminent women chemists in all their dimensions principally to inspire young women to consider careers in the chemical and molecular sciences.

March 14, 2014 at 9pm: POV: The World Before Her 
This program tells tells the tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant -- a ticket to stardom in a country wild about beauty contests. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture, Christianity and Islam.

March 16, 2014 at 10pm: Global Voices: Working Mom
A divorced mother of two returns to her home and children in Bolivia after 15 years of struggling for a better life in Israel, only to find her family members have become strangers. A Working Mom is a story that demonstrates the extremes that individuals will go to in order to save their families - sometimes saving and losing them in the same act.

March 16, 2014 at 11:30pm: Best Friends: The Power of Sisterhood
BEST FRIENDS: THE POWER OF SISTERHOOD celebrates the uniquely powerful bond between women friends. The moving documentary features heartfelt reflections - from humorous to joyful to poignant - from women spanning the generations: childhood friends, college friends, neighbors and colleagues. Despite embarking on separate paths, these women have maintained friendships based on mutual respect and encouragement. Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis also discusses the importance of girlfriends in her life.

March 17, 2014 at 7pm: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity, Pt. 1
Introduced by George Clooney, and traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and celebrity advocates (America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde), HALF THE SKY presents women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable -- and fighting bravely to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation. The series was filmed in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the United States.

March 18, 2014 at 8pm : America ReFramed: Mothers of Bedford
Eighty percent of women in US prisons today are mothers of school-age children. Filmmaker Jenifer McShane spent four years visiting Bedford Hills and following the women and their families. A mother herself, Jenifer was drawn to the universal themes of motherhood and the staggering power of the mother-child relationship. In all walks of life, mother and child care for each other. As we watch the mothers inside Bedford trying to become their better selves, we see parts of our own selves - and that gives us all hope.

March 19, 2014 at 7:30pm: Independent Lens: Pushing the Elephant
When civil war came to Rose's Congolese village, her harrowing experience included the nighttime arrest of her entire family, the execution of her husband and grim negotiations with guards which lead to her separation from her fiveyear- old daughter, Nangabire. More than a decade later, after eventually resettling in Phoenix, AZ, with nine of her 10 children, she is reunited with Nangabire. Rose emerged from her experience advocating forgiveness and reconciliation, and has become a pillar of strength for her family, community and as we see in this film, her daughter who is integrating into a new life in America.

March 21, 2014 at 7pm: The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Valley Riding Club
THE LEGEND OF PANCHO BARNES AND THE HAPPY BOTTOM RIDING CLUB chronicles the thrilling life and extraordinary times of aviation pioneer Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes, one of the most colorful and accomplished women pilots of the early 20th century. Narrated by Tom Skerritt, with Kathy Bates as the voice of Barnes, THE LEGEND OF PANCHO BARNES employs newly discovered personal files, never-before-seen photos and rare movie footage to tell her story. The film also includes interviews with Pancho's biographers, and many of her friends, including General Charles 'Chuck' Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and famed test pilots R.A. 'Bob' Hoover and Bob Cardenas.

March 21, 2014 at 8pm: Final Hours: Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight
This powerful documentary recreates the final flight of Amelia Earhart, the noted aviation pioneer whose historic 1937 trip around the world ended in her tragic disappearance. Shot in 19 countries, THE FINAL HOURS is based on "World Flight 1997," Texas aviator Linda Finch's honorary recreation of Earhart's planned flight. With the rare accreditation of the Smithsonian Institution, this informative program presents footage of Finch's flight, artfully intercut with archival footage and interviews with Earhart. Notably different from other Amelia Earhart films, this program also presents theories as to what actually occurred during the deadly flight.


March 21, 2014 at 9pm: Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place
VIRGINIA LEE BURTON: A SENSE OF PLACE celebrates the career of Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968), the groundbreaking author-illustrator of the beloved picture books Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shoveland the Caldecott Awardwinning The Little House. This finely wrought documentary explores Burton's life and art through a treasure-trove of archival materials, never-before-seen photographs, personal documents, sketchbooks, original manuscripts and interviews with family, friends and scholars. VIRGINIA LEE BURTON: A SENSE OF PLACE paints a portrait of a Renaissance woman ahead of her time, whose art and literature remains an enduring part of America's cultural heritage.


March 23, 2014 at 11pm: Global Voices: Chahinaz—What Rights for Women?
Chahinaz, a 20-year-old student in Algeria, has mixed feelings about the Western world and its values, but she admires the freedom of Western women. Through her curiosity and voyage of self-discovery, Chahinaz begins to wonder what life is like for women in other Muslim countries and around the world and why things are slow to change in Algeria.


March 24, 2014 at 7pm: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity, Pt. 2
Introduced by George Clooney, and traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and celebrity advocates (America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde), HALF THE SKY presents women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable -- and fighting bravely to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation. The series was filmed in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the United States.


March 26, 2014 at 7pm: POV: The Light in Her Eyes
Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur'an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway -- women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, "The Light in Her Eyes" offers a portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their aspirations.


March 26, 2014 at 8pm: Independent Lens: All of Me—A Story of Love, Loss and Last Resorts
The “Girls” have been friends — and morbidly obese — for years. They met via the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, but now they’re going through the life-changing process of weight-loss surgery in an effort to lose hundreds of pounds. The experience presents a host of issues and consequences — some they knew they were in for, some they feared and some they never could have imagined. By Alexandra Lescaze.


March 28, 2014 at 7pm: The Powder & the Glory
The Powder & the Glory, a 90-minute documentary narrated by Jane Alexander, tells the story of two of the first highly successful women entrepreneurs — Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. One hundred years ago these women immigrated to America and, starting with next to nothing, created what is today the $150 billion global health and beauty industry. 


March 28, 2014 at 8:30pm: POV: Girl Model
The distance from Novosibirsk Oblast in Russian Siberia to Tokyo, Japan is about 3,000 air miles, not so far in today's jet-paced, globalized world. For Ashley Arbaugh, a former model and now a scout who specializes in the young Russian models much prized by Japan's fashion industry, it's a regular commute. However, as shown in the riveting new documentary Girl Model, for the girls recruited by Ashley it is a much longer journey.

 



Women and War:

March 10-14, 2014 at 7pm: Women, War and Peace | 5 episodes

I Came to Testify | March 10
When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. "I Came to Testify" is the story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history's great silence -- and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. "Witness 99," who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: "We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman's dignity." Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, the film also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia's women war survivors. Narrated by Matt Damon.

Pray The Devil Back to Hell | March 11
"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" is the story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war, and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003. As the rebel noose tightened around the capital city of Monrovia, thousands of women -- ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim -- formed a thin but unshakeable line between the opposing forces. Armed only with white t-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they literally faced down the killers who had turned Liberia into hell on earth. In one memorable scene, the women barricaded the site of stalled peace talks in Ghana and refused to move until a deal was done. Their demonstrations culminated in Taylor's exile and the rise of Africa's first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This film is an example of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.

Peace Unveiled | March 12
When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. "Peace Unveiled" follows three women who immediately began to organize to make sure that women's rights don't get traded away in the deal. One is a savvy parliamentarian who participated in writing the Afghan constitution that guarantees equality for women; another, a former midwife who is one of the last women's rights advocates alive in Kandahar; and the third, a young activist who lives in a traditional family in Kabul. Convinced that the Taliban will have demands that jeopardize women's hard-earned gains, they maneuver against formidable odds to have their voices heard in a peace jirga and high peace council. The film goes behind Kabul's closed doors as the women's case is made to U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer, General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises the women that "peace and justice can't come at the cost of women and women's lives." But will this promise be kept? Narrated by Tilda Swinton.

The War We Are Living | March 13
If you ask Colombia's city-dwellers and governing political class, they'll tell you the country's 40-year-old civil war is over. But "The War We Are Living" reveals the "other" Colombia, in rural areas far away from the capitol, where the war is all too real -- and now the battle is over gold. In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia's pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marquez are part of a powerful network of female leaders, who found that in wartime women can organize more freely than men. As they defy paramilitary death threats and insist on staying on their land, Carabali and Marquez are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war. If they lose the battle, they and thousands of their neighbors will join Colombia's four million people -- most of them women and children -- who have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.

War Redefined | March 14
"War Redefined" challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men's domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, secretaries of state and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making. Their experiences reveal how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Simultaneously, they describe how women are emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. This film reframes our understanding of modern warfare through probing conversations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Secretaries of State Condoleeza Rice and Madeline Albright; Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee; Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic; Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International; globalization expert Moises Naim; and Cynthia Enloe of Clark University, among others. Narrated by Geena Davis.


March 10, 2014 at 8pm: War Zone/Comfort Zone
Women account for roughly 14 percent of the active-duty U.S. military and more than 24 percent of the National Guard, yet they often receive less than a hero's welcome upon their return to civilian life. Many face homelessness and joblessness; deal with the psychological and physiological effects of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder from military sexual trauma and combat-related injuries; and often receive poor service from a Veterans Administration illequipped and, in some cases, unwilling to help them. The Emmy?? -nominated documentary WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE uncovers the plight of these veterans through the intense and personal stories of four women veterans coping with life after their military service. Each seeks a sense of normalcy and peace without the benefit of a comprehensive support system. WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE weaves together intimate interviews with the story of two women - Shalini Madaras and Joy Kiss - struggling to establish transitional housing for homeless female veterans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, despite virulent community opposition.


March 13, 2014 at 8pm: Wings for Maggie Ray
WINGS FOR MAGGIE RAY pays tribute to the remarkable life and legacy of Margaret "Maggie"Ringenberg (1921-2008), a U.S. Army Air Force WASP (Women's Air Service Pilot) and renowned long-distance aviation racer. Reenactments, archival photos and film, and insightful interviews from those closest to her shed light on Maggie's fearlessness, confidence, competitive nature, drive and determination. The program covers the Indiana native's numerous aviation adventures during and after World War II, including ferrying personnel and supplies,test-flying new planes, and serving as the lead pilot in around-the-world and London-to-Sydney races.


March 14, 2014 at 8pm: No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII
Before World War II, war reporting was considered No Job For a Woman. But when the United States entered the war, American women reporters did not want to miss covering the biggest story of the century so they fought for and won access. But there was a catch: women reporters would be banned from the frontlines, prevented from covering Front Page stories about generals and battlefield manoeuvres, and assigned "woman's angle" stories about nurses and female military personnel. Several women reporters refused to abide by these journalistic conventions and military restrictions and, instead, brought home a new kind of war story: one that was more intimate yet more revealing. They reached beyond the battlefield and deep into human lives to tell a new story of war.


March 15, 2014 at 8pm: Voces: Rebel
"Rebel" is the story of Loreta Velazquez, Confederate soldier turned Union spy. She was dismissed as a hoax for a hundred and fifty years, but new evidence shows Loreta, a Cuban immigrant from New Orleans, was one of estimated 1000 secret women soldiers of the American Civil War.

Independent Lens Blog

Brakeless Filmmaker Explores the Dangers of Time-Obsession Brakeless Filmmaker Explores the Dangers of Time-Obsession
Filmmaker Kyoko Miyake was born and raised in Japan, though she has lived in the UK for the last 12 years, in additio...
Update on the Twin Sisters from the California Mom Update on the Twin Sisters from the California Mom
We have an exclusive update on the two twin girls featured in Twin Sisters (the film by Mona Friis Bertheussen premie...

NPR People & Places