Makers: Women Who Make America
|Makers: Women Who Make America|
|Directed by||Barak Goodman|
|Produced by||Dyllan McGee, Peter Kunhardt, Betsy West (executive)
Barak Goodman, Pamela Mason Wagner
|Written by||Barak Goodman, Pamela Mason Wagner|
|Narrated by||Meryl Streep|
|Music by||Joel Goodman|
|Production company||Kunhardt McGee Productions
|Original channel||WETA-TV Public Television|
|Release date||February 26, 2013|
|Running time||3 hours|
Makers: Women Who Make America is a 2013 documentary film about the struggle for women's equality in the United States during the last five decades of the 20th century. The film was narrated by Meryl Streep and distributed by the Public Broadcasting Service as a three-part, three-hour television documentary in February 2013. Makers features interviews with women from all social strata, from politicians like Hillary Rodham Clinton and television stars like Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey, to flight attendants, coal miners and phone company workers.
Project founder and producer Dyllan McGee of Kunhardt McGee Productions began what eventually became the Makers project in 2004. Originally, McGee set out to make a film about Gloria Steinem, but Steinem turned down the proposal. "She didn’t want it to be all about her – she wanted the bigger picture", McGee recalls. McGee named the documentary Makers to emphasize the sense of momentum in a continuing, ongoing women's movement.
The first part of the film begins in the 1950s and 1960s ("Awakening"), and follows the impact of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique (1963) on women in the United States. College student Kathrine Switzer runs the Boston Marathon as a registered competitor and challenges the ban on women. The second part takes place in the 1970s, ("Changing the World"), and covers the sexual revolution and abortion debate. The third part of the film ("Charting a New Course") ends in the 1980s and 1990s, and discusses issues facing women in the workforce, violence against women, the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination and sexual harassment.
The documentary is linked to Makers.com, a collaborative project between PBS and AOL featuring videos of hundreds of women who contributed to the struggle for women's equality in the United States. The video project went live in February 2012. The film premiered at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on February 6, 2013. The documentary was first broadcast on PBS on February 26, 2013.
David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle called the documentary "one of the best and most far-reaching films about the modern women's movement".
The documentary features Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Madeleine Albright, Christiane Amanpour, Geraldine Ferraro, Carol Burnett, Condoleezza Rice, Phyllis Schlafly, and women who appear on Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Lesser known women, such as Maria Pepe, who was instrumental in establishing the right of girls to play Little League Baseball, are also featured.
|Betty Friedan||Friedan's 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, helped influence the rise of second-wave feminism. She questioned the assumption that women should be satisfied with being only a wife and a mother. Author Kate Kelly notes that Friedan's book "gave voice to housewives who were beginning to realize that cleaning house and doing laundry wasn't exactly fulfilling." Inspired by Friedan's book, the National Organization for Women was formed in 1966 with Friedan as its first president.|
|Marlo Thomas||In 1966, Thomas began playing the character of Ann Marie in the ABC series That Girl, the first American sitcom to portray a single woman pursuing a career who didn't live with her parents or depend on her husband.|
|Katherine Switzer||In 1967, Switzer was a college student at Syracuse University. She wanted to run but her school did not have a track team where women could compete. The men's coach spoke glowingly about the Boston Marathon, inspiring Switzer to compete in the event. However, the marathon was an all-male competition. Women were discouraged from long distance running with concerns that running might damage their reproductive organs. Switzer decided to register for the Boston Marathon as "K.V. Switzer", directly challenging the all-male entrant criteria in competitive sports. Jock Semple, the Boston Marathon race official, tried to pull her out of the race but Switzer's boyfriend blocked him and Switzer finished the marathon. Media coverage of the incident brought international attention to women's athletics.|
|Gloria Steinem||"Before this wave of feminism came along, the majority of people probably thought that male and female roles were due to biology or nature, or God or Freud, or something that you couldn't change. Now the majority of people in this country know that if there is inequality it's wrong, it's unjust, that we're all human beings, and the point is our individual talents. That's a huge change."|
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