Films can be an amazing way to explore new ideas, understand complex issues, and celebrate change. And documentary film is a particularly good medium for discussion, as anyone who's overheard conversations about Fyre Festival, R Kelly or Apollo 11 this year will know.
So this autumn, we're delighted to be partnering with Take One Action Film Festival to bring you films which explore feminism, sisterhood, and women's representation. We really enjoyed picking the films, which we think will make for some really interesting discussions about access to justice worldwide, the universal struggles of balancing career and care, and whether foreign policy can ever be truly feminist.
We'll be involved in the screening of three films in Glasgow and Edinburgh (and, later in the year, in Inverness and Aberdeen as well), and we'd love for you to join us there. You can book for all the films over on the Take One Action website and keep an eye on our Friday Feminist Five emails and social media to find out how you can get a free ticket. After each screening there will be a discussion with amazing women making change in Scotland and globally, as well as time for informal chats in the cafe afterwards!
THURS 19 SEPT | 17:50
FRI 20 SEPT | 19:30
This extraordinary portrait of politician Margot Wallström was shot over her first four years in office as Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. A passionate advocate for a feminist foreign policy, Wallström proves a defiantly outspoken presence on the international stage. Her decisions – recognising Palestine as a state, calling out women’s oppression in Saudi Arabia – ruffle many feathers. Despite death threats and intimidation, she ploughs on and embarks on a highly competitive UN Security Council campaign.
While providing remarkable access to the corridors of power, the film does leave key questions unanswered (especially regarding policy cohesion, and how or whether Wallström succeeded in implementing policies that have advanced women’s empowerment). Yet at a time when so much of our political landscape is dominated by brash (male) egos, witnessing such a skilled diplomat’s intelligence and determination feels like a radically hopeful act.
SUN 22 SEPT | 19:30
MON 23 SEPT | 17:50
Often considered collateral damage instead of a war crime, sexual violence has, for centuries, been instrumentalised to control and terrorise entire communities in conflict zones. Can we end the use of this insidious tool of war, and how effective are legal frameworks in prosecuting culprits?
Filmed over five years, The Prosecutors follows three lawyers’ fight to end impunity for sexual violence committed at times of war. Through personal testimonies and footage of courtroom proceedings, the film documents specific cases in the DRC, Colombia, and Bosnia Herzegovina. It explores, with respect and determination, what it takes for victims to obtain justice for crimes of sexual violence in conflict – whether committed by uniformed soldiers, paramilitary units, or a neighbour.
The Prosecutors celebrates the bravery of those who come forward, while demanding a wider framework of
TUES 24 SEPT | 19:30
FRI 27 SEPT | 20:30
As American forces and aid leave Afghanistan, Afghan-American filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi crafts an intimate portrait of two awe-inspiring women: Nilofar, a member of parliament, and Shakila, a television journalist. With recent gains for women and the country’s fragile democracy hanging in the balance, Nilofar and Shakila face increasing threats to their own lives and their families’ safety – jeopardising their ability to change their country from within.
Facing the Dragon sheds a stark light on the ongoing struggles of a democracy shattered by decades of international and internal conflict. It also powerfully encapsulates, in the stories of its two protagonists, much of the energy women the world over are pouring into addressing power imbalance – not only in public representation but also in calling democratic institutions to account, increasing access to education and carving more space for nonviolent dialogue in public discourse.
You can book tickets for our Take One Action screenings online here, and keep up with all the news about the festival by following Take One Action on Facebook and Twitter. The full programme for the festival is available online here, and you can check out the trailer here.
‘Knowing Me; Knowing You: Is this the best we can do for cohabiting couples? Engender has responded to the Scottish Law Commission's consultation on reforms to the law governing cohabitation in Scotland. This blog, from Engender's Policy and Parliamentary Manager Eilidh Dickson, sets out why equality in cohabitation is a feminist issue.
We are always looking for new voices on our blog.
Please send us your blogs and we can offer editing advice, and we also have some opportunities for paid contributions.