Upcoming documentary “Vessel” follows the experiences of Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician who founded Women on Waves, which brings contraception and safe abortion services to women in countries with few reproductive rights. Gomberts felt the need to take action for women whose control of their own bodies are prohibited by their nation’s government, often at the expense of their own health. She’d heard of one too many illegal abortion leading to a woman’s death, so she set sail with a mobile health clinic to help as many as she could. Since Gomberts’ organization travels by boat, she is governed by the laws that oversee international waters instead, making abortion and other reproductive health procedures legal on board. The documentary is available on video January 13th, and it looks nothing short of powerful.
New HBO documentary “Private Violence” follows the experiences of Deanna Walters, a mom who was beaten by her estranged husband until she was close to death, and Kit Gruelle, the survivors’ advocate who helps Walters fight for justice. Walters and Gruelle weave their way through a complicated legal system and Walters finds that the law is often stacked against abuse victims. Film director Cynthia Hill told the Huffington Post that she made the film to help people understand that leaving an abusive partner is not always a simple option.
“We don’t understand this issue as a society. We all think domestic violence is bad, but we tend to still push it behind closed doors — it makes us uncomfortable. When the lights come up and someone finishes watching this film, if they don’t ask why doesn’t she just leave,’ then I feel like I’ve done my job. That’s the first step of finding other, better questions to ask…When one person believes in you, it makes a powerful difference.”
The movie premieres on HBO Monday night at 9 p.m. Considering the disheartening public response to domestic violence struggles like the one between Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, this is the exact kind of film this country needs to see more of. [HuffPost]
FX has released an extended trailer for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” and it is creepy as hell in the best of ways. It fittingly features the song “Carousel” by Melanie Martinez and gives us a look at Sarah Paulson as a two-headed woman, Kathy Bates as a bearded chick, and Jyoti Amge, who is the smallest woman in the world. Thankfully for my sanity, this trailer isn’t so heavy on the scary clowns like some of the show’s other promos. Only one more month to go until the premiere! [Nerdist]
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the upcoming new year: a fresh start, a bunch of well-meaning but ultimately forgotten resolutions, a new supply of vacation days, etc. But the most exciting thing about 2014? Season 3 of “Sherlock” debuts on New Year’s Day in the UK and January 19th in the US. As fans know, the stellar second season ended with a bang (and a fall, and so many questions, and so many tears). This amazing trailer for season 3 promises a few answers, many more questions, and the glorious return of Benedict Cumberbatch in a long, tweed coat. Cannot wait. [YouTube]
P.S. If you’re a “Sherlock” fan (and/or a feminist) and haven’t read Nicole Cliffe’s brilliant rankings of the first 6 episodes, please do that now.
Calvin And Hobbes was everything in my childhood. Everything. I read the strip every day in the my parents’ newspaper and had all the Calvin And Hobbes books. Okay, they were my brother’s books and I stole them, but that’s besides the point. I loved to pretend that my teddy bear, Gregory, could come alive and only I would see him, just like Hobbes. I’m sure part of the reason today that I love graphic novels as much as I do is because I read so many smart, multi-layered comic strips as a kid. So I’m kinda peeing my pants right now to see that there’s going to be a Calvin And Hobbes documentary, “Dear Mr. Watterson,” about the strip and its cartoonist Bill Watterson. After the series ended in 1995, Watterson has remained mostly out of the public eye as a sort of modern-day J.D. Salinger. I’ll be fascinated to see if he makes an appearance in this doc. I can’t wait! [The Mary Sue]
What better way to celebrate the beginning of Full Figured Fashion Week (and cleanse your palette after Sunday night’s Miss USA pageant ridiculousness) than with a documentary about plus-size beauty queens? “There She Is” stars two friends, Allison and Jenny, who love everything about beauty pageants: the makeup, the hair, the costumes, the glitter.
But unlike the women who compete in Miss USA and Miss America pageants, Allison and Jenny are both a size 22. Keep reading »