Can Women Save the World?
Before retiring from the field of education, I had the good fortune to help found a successful college Women’s Studies program, so watching Femme: Women Healing the World was a thrilling experience for me. This inspiring documentary, directed and co-written (with Amanda Estremera) by Emmanuel Itier, presents provocative interviews with 100 influential women in such diverse fields as religion, science, history, politics and entertainment. Actress Sharon Stone of Basic Instinct fame served as the film’s executive producer. She also appears on camera and speaks out eloquently about the topic -- along with Mira Nair, Gloria Steinem, Maria Bello, Shirin Ebadi, Maria Conchita Alonzo, Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston, Carole Wells and many others.
The women interviewed are from different parts of the world. While not agreeing with everything they say, I found all of them to be witty, intelligent, creative and fascinating! These interviews focus on encouraging women everywhere to “accept the rise of feminine energy” in to order solve the many crises facing our modern world. And why not? The men in charge have made a mess of things. Femme maintains that in Primitive societies the feminine was honored, and there was equal appreciation for and participation from men AND women. But along came the Patriarchy, and the feminine role lessened in developing societies. Fortunately, this trend is now reversing at a time when feminine values -- such as nurturing and cooperation rather than competition and aggression -- are what’s needed to bring about a balance that could lead to less war and more equitable economic and educational opportunities for all.
Should men be worried about feminine empowerment? Not according to the women speaking in this powerful documentary. Instead, men should welcome the partnership. Survival now depends on a blending of the feminine and the masculine. Femme: Women Healing the World left me feeling hopeful that we can make this work!
Happily, filmmaker Itier makes his documentary work by organizing the interviews into various segments announced by questions scrolling along the screen in Star Wars style and by keeping the interview pace moving in a way that prevents any one person from dominating each segment. He doesn’t rely completely on talking heads, but instead includes visually appealing images. In one spot, Claude Budin-Juteau's cinematography is reminiscent of the great Emmanual Lubezki’s (To the Wonder, Gravity) work. Plus, Itier's use of music by Yoko Ono, Rickie Lee Jones, and Vincent Gillioz adds just the right tone to the film.
More information about Femme, which is now available on demand, can be found at the film’s official website and on Facebook. Just click on the links below.
(Released by Vision Films; not rated by MPAA.)