Daily Archives: June 15, 2014

A movie that every American Woman Should See

August 18th, 1920 is watershed date in the lives of American women. It is the day that the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing every American woman the right to vote.

In 2004, HBO premiered Iron Jawed Angels , the true story of the women who fought for the right to vote.

Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O’Connor) are the leaders of the Suffragette movement, fighting for a national law providing women the right to vote. Standing in their way is not only the male led government, but the older generation,  Carrie Chapman Catt (Angelica Huston) who are advocating a state by state pathway to the right to vote instead of a national law.

This movie should be seen by every American woman. These women are brought to life as fully developed characters, flaws and all. I am reminded of this movie when I vote for my political leaders, from the smallest local government to the presidential vote.  Without these brave women,  we would still be second class citizens, without rights and chattel to the men in our lives.

“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity” In their own time, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were thought to be insane. But without their insanity,  we would be living in a very different country.

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Defending The City Of God Book Review

I think its safe to say that Jerusalem has been a city that has been fought over  for thousands of years.

Sharan Newman’s new book, Defending The City Of God: A Medieval Queen, The First Crusades And the Quest For Peace In Jerusalem is the story of a forgotten queen of Jerusalem. Melisende was the first born daughter of Baldwin II, who ruled over Jerusalem during the first crusades.  The story of her life and her ruling was forgotten, replaced the stories of her husband and sons. It is said that history is written by the victors, women stories from this era are likely to be forgotten.

I liked this book. I expected it to be a novel, but it is non fiction book written with a fiction like narrative. Ms. Newman went to great lengths to bring back Melisende and the world that she knew back to life.

I recommend this book.

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Maleficent The Magnificent: Maleficent Movie Review

*-This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie.

Maleficent is magnificent.

The 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty movie, the source material from which the screen play is taken from is twisted in a delightful and intricate manner.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a fairy, who develops a friendship and then a teenage romance with a human called Stefan (Sharlto Copley). But Stefan is ambitious. The dying king announces that the man who kills Maleficent will crowned king upon his death.  Using their relationship to his advantage, Stefan cuts off Maleficent’s wings to gain the throne.

Years later, Stefan is now king and parent to a brand new baby girl. At her christening, she is being blessed by the three fairies Flittle (Lesley Manvile), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton) and Thistlewit (Juno Temple). Seeking revenge, Maleficent curses the new princess. After the curse, the princess (played as a teenager by Elle Fanning) is taken away from the castle, Maleficent watches over the child with a strange maternal instinct with the help of her servant Diaval (Sam Riley).

I loved this movie.  While I find the Disney princess movies from that era of Sleeping Beauty to be one note, black and white and not how I want to spend my movie watching time, this movie takes these characters from one dimension to three dimensions.  Maleficent is not just a villain just to be a villain, she is hurting from Stefan’s betrayal and uses that hurt to justify her actions. I’m not normally a fan of Angelina Jolie, but she is magnificent and perfectly cast in this role. The special effects were just enough to enhance the story, not used to cover up a hole in the screenplay.

I highly recommend this movie.

 

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