Price: $395.00

    Code: 2513

    Directed by Mary Dore
    2014, 92 minutes
    Purchase: $395 | Classroom rental: $125
    Call us at 212-685-6242 for special non-profit, public library, and K-12 pricing.

    An essential documentary about the birth of the women's liberation movement. Beginning in the late 1960s, featuring never-seen before archival footage and new interviews She's Beautiful When She's Angry tells the story of one of the most important social movements of the 20th century, bringing to light the efforts of lesser-known activists, including the Boston authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves , the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, and grassroots organizations across the country who played a pivotal role in the struggle.

    She's Beautiful depicts the early days of the National Organization for Women (NOW) when ladies wore hats and gloves. At the same time, young women, frustrated with their second- class status in civil rights and peace groups, started a new movement called women's liberation. They proclaimed that "the personal is political,' and demanded equality in every part of daily life. Featuring interviews with early feminists Kate Millett, Fran Beal, Rita Mae Brown and many others, She's Beautiful When She's Angry shows women fighting back with humor, sometimes with fury ' daring to be 'bad.'

    She's Beautiful When She's Angry reveals a wide-reaching movement with women's rock bands, poetry readings, and 'zaps,' impromptu protest actions. The film shows many aspects of the movement: poets and publishers in San Francisco (Susan Griffin and Alta); lesbian activists (Rita Mae Brown and Karla Jay) who made the slur 'Lavender Menace' into a term of liberation; Chicago women who started a pre-Roe underground abortion service (Judith Arcana and Heather Booth); and the Boston women who wrote Our Bodies, Ourselves, named by Time Magazine as one of the most important books of the 20th century. The film shows many strands of early feminism, including the voices of women of color and struggles over issues of class and lesbian rights.

    Major themes appear throughout the film: the struggle for freedom and equality, a woman's right to control her own body -- in terms of sexuality, health care, and reproductive rights. She's Beautiful also relates to current day issues, showing young women inventing their own forms of feminist action, with 'Slut Walks' protesting rape culture in New York, and Texas protests over the closing of abortion clinics.

    The extraordinary women who appear in the film are often unheralded, even in their own communities. She's Beautiful When She's Angry is a view of the movement's grassroots, rather than focusing on the most famous, or the 'firsts.' The film celebrates the 'worker bees' of the women's movement, and collective organizing, rather than heroic individuals.

    The interviewees display humor, self-criticism and thoughtfulness throughout the film. It is not a cheerleading film, it's an investigation into how movements evolve, where they go wrong or right, and problems with diversity and leadership. Ultimately, this is a film about organizing for human rights, reflecting on the past and outlining what needs to be done today.

    All interviews were shot by women DPs, and the film was directed, produced and edited by women.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    2017 "Notable Video for Adults" as selected by the American Library Association
    Official Selection, Western Psychological Association Film Festival


    "Vibrant, enlightening and inspiring. Mary Dore's incisive portrait of so-called second-wave feminism of the late 1960s, is an exceptional chronicle, its mix of archival material and new interviews bristling with the energy and insight of one of the most important social movements of the 20th century."
    Los Angeles Times

    "One of the year's best films. An urgent, illuminating dive into the headwaters of second-wave feminism. Wise, moving, upsetting, and sometimes funny. That defiant sisterhood changed the workplace, our sexual politics, our language. She's Beautiful When She's Angry is the best filmed account of how that happened you could ever expect to see."
    Village Voice

    "This stirring and informative documentary about the rise of the women's movement in the United States, between 1966 and 1971, is an enticing blend of historical clips and interviews. There's a warm, wise, passionate glow to a great political success story. Visionary and heroic."
    —Richard Brody, The New Yorker

    "She's Beautiful When She's Angry captures the excitement, electricity, humor and power of women realizing that they are not crazy, the system is crazy. By showing women as they take this great leap forward in consciousness and activism in the 1960s and early 1970s, Mary Dore makes revolution contagious for the far greater numbers of younger women who are making new leaps of consciousness and activism now. Seeing is believing. To see this documentary will help all women believe in ourselves and each other."-Gloria Steinem

    "A feminist film masterpiece. Offers an inspiring account of the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s."
    Ms Magazine

    "The film is an archival treasure — a history of the many strands of the Women's Movement, its multiple struggles and voices — and activism that marries the past to what needs to be done today. She's Beautiful is rousing, funny and self-critical. As provocative, colorful and lighthearted as its title, this is an important film about serious women doing the serious work of feminism, but also having fun — the time of their lives, in fact, while changing the world."
    Eleanor Pam, President, Feminist Veterans of America

    "Highly recommended for all school, university, and public libraries."– Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library, School Library Journal

    "This wonderful documentary by Dore shows us the history of the movement, with rare clips and interviews with the women who made it happen, often running an interview from the 1960s or 1970s back to back with the same person speaking today and reflecting on her original comments. It is beautiful metamoments like those that make this film a standout, along with the excellent research and broad scope, examining the people, the politics, the media, and the society of the times and these women’s shocking struggles. Recommended to all generations of women, and men, to remind us of what these courageous pioneers faced and the dangers of taking things for granted and letting progress erode."— Library Journal

    "Highly Recommended. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry would be useful in undergraduate courses in women’s history, feminism, women’s studies, U.S. history, and protest and reform movements. Secondary school libraries and public libraries would also benefit from adding She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry to their collections."-Educational Media Reviews Online

    "As fun and educational as the film is, it’s also a call to arms meant to inspire young people to undertake their own activism…This is the best film yet about the women’s movement, and it will be invaluable as a teaching resource. Whether instructors will want to show the entire film or use clips in their classes will be partly determined by how willing they are to screen an overtly pro-choice film in their classes. For women’s and gender studies teachers, the film is going to be extremely useful without much introduction; for historians, the film may require a bit more framing for students…This documentary will provide multiple ways for students and instructors to have rich discussions about feminism, social movements, the politics of anger, and radicalism in the late 1960s and early 1970s.” – The American Historian

    "Because so much of the footage was scarcely ever seen before, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” stands as a work of scholarship about the beginnings of second-wave feminism and social history. The scenes and interviews are exhilarating; there is simply nothing else like it."- Our Bodies, Ourselves

    "This film should be shown in every school, because on top of celebrating the amazing women who changed the world, and educating those of us ignorant of their accomplishments, this documentary serves as a cautionary tale. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry returns, in the end, to the angering fact that there are those who would roll back the rights extended and disempower women—which hurts everyone. The burden lies on feminists, who must always stand vigilant, ready to fight back." -Plenitude Magazine


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