“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” is the first feature documentary telling the inspiring story of the birth of the Women’s Liberation Movement from 1966-1971. Director Mary Dore cleverly weaves together archival footage, photographs and rare interviews with the leaders who shaped this movement reflecting back on this time in history. Mary will be in attendance along with some of the women when it debuts in theaters around the Bay Area on February 6. I spoke to Mary about her film.
How did you first conceived of the idea of making a film about the early years in the Feminist Movement?
I’ve been part of the feminist movement and a filmmaker since the 70’s, and was frustrated that there have been so many films and television shows on other groups from the same period, such as the civil rights, anti-war and environmental movements, while the women’s movement was virtually ignored. It’s important to remember that the Suffragists, who were so courageous, had a single goal, getting the vote for women. And that took decades! The 1960’s women’s movement took a huge intellectual and emotional leap, by challenging all facets of women’s lives and roles, and redefined gender norms. Most of these women had been involved in other movements, until they realized they were being treated like second class citizens. Our film covers the beginning of people’s consciousness about feminism, which so few people know about. I thought the early days also raised an important question: how do you start a movement? Y
In 2012, you held a Kickstarter campaign with the goal for the film which was $75K and you made $81,549. Why did you decide to go that route?
It was an epic journey to raise money. We did some filming in 2000 when Nancy Kennedy came on as my producing partner. Thanks to that early start, we had the interview with Ellen Willis who sadly died a few years later. Her part of this story might have been completely lost. Then in 2010 we received some funding and went into full time production. But we needed to raise a lot of money because the archival materials make this a very costly film.
Kickstarter is not a romantic effort where people just magically donate. It had many great elements but it’s also an incredible amount of work. Anyone who puts their project on Kickstarter should be prepared to treat it like a campaign. Complete strangers did amazing outreach because they felt this film was really important. It was both incredibly exciting and very moving. I feel blessed by all the people who wanted the film to get made and passionately believed in it.
Click here to read the full interview.