Understanding gender via films

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From the controversial dramas to the light-hearted stories of love, the Women’s Center continues its tradition of Tuesday movie nights with its fall semester film series “Real Women, Real Men, Reel World.”

The series aims to address and understand gender issues.

The center features different documentaries and theatrical films every semester and provides free popcorn and snacks to those who attend.

“Students can pop in between classes,” said events coordinator Jerri Freeman. “It’s a place to relax and catch a movie.”

The movie series focuses on a wide range of issues such as human trafficking, sexual abuse, racism and domestic violence. The center has disclaimers to warn viewers of possible graphic and brutal scenes.

“We try and hit cultural, historical accomplishments and relationship issues,” Freeman said. “This semester we have very sad and tragic films.”

Brothers, Precious, Invictus and Love Actually are a few of the films scheduled as part of the series.

“I would want to watch the films and be involved,” said Kathleen Raymundo, a criminal justice student.

Precious, a movie about a young woman struggling with many obstacles and injustices, is a film Raymundo looks forward to watching again.

“It shows how she suffered through life and how she finally had the courage to leave home and start on her own,” Raymundo said.

Sin by Silence, the only documentary to be shown this semester, tells the story of battered women who are in prison for killing their batterers. “We try to hit heavy and light topics,” Freeman said.

The center tries to tie in films to match a month’s theme if there is a one. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee a film showing for Native American Awareness Month and Brothers, featuring Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal, will be shown during Veterans Awareness Month.

Acting Director of the WoMen’s Center Susan Leavy said, “This semester series is very eclectic. We have Latino Heritage Month and Native American Month and the movies reflect the vibe of those awarenesses.”

The center generally shows 12 movies a semester and encourages everyone to take part in the movie nights. The center gets up to 30 people with their film screenings. Often times films that centralize prominent issues are shown to classes.

“People really enjoy the ones that showcase people – human interest films. We have a lot of fun and learn a lot,” Freeman said.

Last fall, the center showed Grey Gardens, Juno, Taken and The Secret Life of Bees.

The series, which runs from Sept. 14 to Dec. 7, is shown every Tuesday in University Hall 205 from 5 p.m. to about 7 p.m.

“What I want to do is promote discussion out in the world,” Freeman said. “For them (students) to connect here and take discussion outside.”

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