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5 GIRLS
, by Kartemquin Educational Films, Color, 2001, 113 minutes. Distributed by: Women Make Movies. From the production company that made "Hoop Dreams" comes this inspiring and honest portrait of five diverse girls as they bravely make their way through high school. Filmmaker Maria Finitzo and her crew spent three years with this diverse group of young women and their families, who live in and around Chicago, to ambitiously document their journey from adolescence into adulthood. Sensitively weaving together the stories and personalities of each
girl, this provocative documentary succeeds in providing a rare glimpse into the resilience, intelligence and self-awareness that many young women confidently demonstrate, but are rarely given credit for possessing.

CUSP, by Ruth Sergel, Color, 2000, 25 minutes. Distributed by: Women Make Movies There is an electric moment for girls on the cusp of adolescence, as they leave behind the bold egoism of girlhood for the shaky self-consciousness of their teens. Cusp is a portrait of Alice, a spirited12 year old, hitting the wall of early adolescence. Her fierce struggle to retain her sense of self, despite the onslaught of other voices, denotes the unique experience of a girl coming of age.

GIRLS LIKE US, a videotape by Jane C. Wagner & Tina DiFeliciantonio, Color, 1997, 60 minutes. Distributed by: Women Make Movies. A documentary about "An ethnically diverse group of four working class girlsSin South PhiladelphiaSFollowing the girls from the ages of 14 to 18, Girls Like Us reveals the conflicts many of us face growing up female by examining the impact of class, sexism, and violence on the dreams and expectations of young girls. Intimate interviews and candid footage have created something rare: a searingly honest, inspiring
depiction of girls' experiences." Has received 11 major awards.

RUN LIKE A GIRL, by Carol Cassidy. Girls in America Documentary Series. How do teenage girls reconcile their physicality, emotionality and vitality with societal pressures to be coifed, quiet and compliant? RUN LIKE A GIRL listens closely to rugby players, synchronized swimmers and double-dutch jumpers, exploring how sports can help girls cultivate resistance to any force that stunts spiritual growth or thwarts self-confidence.

SHE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU, by Anita W. Chang, Color, 2001, 29 minutes. Distributed by: Women Make Movies. In October 1999, filmmaker Anita Chang befriended three 13-year-old girls - Monika Rasali, Sushma Sada and Vinita Shrestha - while living in Kathmandu, Nepal. Honestly presenting themselves in front of the camera, these girls share with the filmmaker their ideas on marriage, friendship and spirituality. Their recordings provide a complex and poignant framework for three Nepali women living in the U.S. to reflect on their own struggle, exile and quest for liberation. SHE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU speaks closely to young girls and women, and provokes universal introspection about the nature of happiness and oppression, and human relations and intimacy.

SMILE PRETTY, by Carol Cassidy. Girls in America Documentary Series, 56 minutes, 1997. Ever had that Miss America fantasy? Three middle school Miss America wannabes give you an inside look at what they go through to compete in lesser beauty pageant competitions. You'll be surprised, and in some cases relate to parts of these girls' stories.

THE STRENGTH TO RESIST: BEYOND KILLING US SOFTLY, by Cambridge
Documentary Films, directed and produced by Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich, 2000. Fed up with the degrading images of girls and women in today's media? This 33-minute documentary is full of ideas on how to create change. Leading authorities in the fields of
psychology of women and girls, eating disorders, violence against women, and media literacy, along with interviews with girls themselves, provide the film with many rich perspectives: all of them focusing on long-term solutions.

TEEN BODY TALK, Copyright 1997, Leslie B. Connolly. 50 minutes (may be viewed in two
parts.) An educational documentary video on overcoming and preventing eating disorders. "If
this video had been available to me 15 years ago, my life path could have been dramatically
different. This video has the power to save lives." (Sara, Bulimic, age 28).

TEEN SEXUALITY IN A CULTURE OF CONFUSION,
Copyright 1998, Dan Habib Photography. 40 minutes. This video presents a lot of different views about teen sex and may start you thinking about yourself, and sex, a little differently. Fast moving music and images illustrate comments by real girls and boys, as well as a few "experts," and the glamorous, sexy advertising images are contrasted with the sometimes grim results of teen sex. HIV / AIDS, homosexuality and teen pregnancy are all addressed in this honest, direct video.

TOUGH GUISE, by the Media Education Foundation. 1999, 57 minutes. What about the boys? This video looks at the media's negative impact on boys' self-image. The lecture is illustrated with some violent film clips, a little partial nudity, and a brief consideration of homosexuality. It is primarily for a high school audience.

UNDERWATER, 30 minutes. A young girls' romantic notions of becoming a teenager are challenged by what she sees happening to an older acquaintance. She learns to deal with having been sexually abused during her childhood by being there for another girl when a crisis occurs. A short drama about facing and responding to some of the more sobering aspects of growing up.

UPHILL ALL THE WAY, by Khin May Lwin & Robert Nassau, Color, 2000, 79 minutes. Distributed by: Women Make Movies. "Uphill All the Way" is the astounding true story of five troubled teenage girls who face the challenge of their lives: a 2,500-mile bicycle journey along the United States Continental Divide. The girls are students at the DeSisto School, a rehabilitative high school in Massachusetts for drug addicts, victims of sexual abuse, and juveniles that have had run-ins with the law. Despite the emotional risks posed by their unstable backgrounds, they sign up for the bike trip as an opportunity to prove individually and collectively that they can reach once unfathomable heights. Narrated by Susan Sarandon.

WHAT A GIRL WANTS, Copyright 2000, CHC Productions. Approx. 33 minutes. In the spring of 2000, eleven girls aged eight to sixteen from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and two classrooms of middle and high school students were interviewed about their views on media culture and its impact on their lives. Their insightful and provocative responses are the heart of the film, an examination of how the media presents girls. Juxtaposing these interviews with footage from a typical week of television broadcasting, this video will provoke debate and, ideally, act as a catalyst for change in media content.

WOMEN AND TOBACCO: SEVEN DEADLY MYTHS, featuring Christy Turlington, 17 minutes. Produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This video explores the myths about smoking and empowers women to become or stay smoke-free.

Now Accepting Other Recommendations...
We would like to know of your recommendations for this category...any films that address girls' issues and are in line with the goals and values of Mainely Girls. Please contact us with your suggestions.