“You can’t be what you can’t see” is the motto of the documentary film “Miss Representation,” a winner of the Outstanding Documentary Award at the 2012 Gracie Allen Awards. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film depicts how mass media contributes to the misrepresentation of women, who are in a position of power in America. The screening of the documentary was organized by the SAGE Club and the AUBG Documentary Club.
”Miss Representation” starts with a quote by the American writer and activist Alice Walker, “the most common way people give up power is by thinking they don’t have any.” The film disputes media’s limited and scornful depiction of girls and women, that discourages women from aspiring to leadership positions and in general makes it difficult to feel self-confident and secure.
“Miss Representation” draws back the curtain of the reality we live in, but fail to see; the reality where media “is an increasingly powerful message and a messenger.” In the world where media shapes cultural norms, young women and men are constantly being bombarded with the idea that a woman’s value and her only key to success and power is her youth, appearance and sexuality, not her talents and capacities.
The documentary features the stories of teenage girls and boys, and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, television hosts, activists and academics, such as Condoleezza Rice, Jane Fonda, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow and Margaret Cho.
Throughout the film an implicit message is conveyed – that women need and want positive role models; however, the media has disregarded its opportunity to provide them with such.
The last ten minutes at the end of the film are devoted to possible solutions of changing the status and portrayal of women in the media.
The film trailer is available here: