A Wonderful Documentary!

I had the good fortune to catch a terrific documentary on Sunday.  The Washington DC Jewish Community Center through Community Cinema and in cooperation with ITVS screened Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.  Produced by Kelcey Edwards and directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan the feature documentary traces the creation and evolution of DC’s Wonder Woman and explores the concept of heroic women and their empowerment in the US over the decades.

Edwards and Guevara-Flanagan have succeeded in crafting an interesting and thought provoking look at elements of American history juxtaposing reality and fiction beginning with World War II and the plethora of superheroes that came into being.  The filmmakers review William Moulton Marston’s lofty goals behind creating Wonder Woman and the character’s longevity and effect on feminism.  The movie features interviews with Gloria Steinem, Trina Robbins, Lynda Carter, Lindsey Wagner and numerous other women who have had an impact on women and their portrayal in media.  Also included are women and girls who have been inspired and influenced by characterizations of heroic women.

The documentary was financed entirely through crowd funding.

Generally, to our cultural detriment, much of how we as Americans view ourselves is influenced by works of fiction.  Females especially have been offered far more narrow choices for heroic role models.   But it is impossible to watch this film and not come away in awe of the personal testimonies of women who have been inspired to strive for greater heights by the ideals and exploits of comic book and television characters.  I found the documentary to be informative and uplifting.

You don’t have to be a comics fan to find something of value in this film.  I heartily encourage anyone with an interest in history, feminism and popular culture to watch Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.  Check your local PBS listings during April for the premiere air dates and times.

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