Necessity: Oil, Water and Climate Resistance

NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through North America. Home to much of the world’s precious freshwater resources, the state is also the site of expanding oil industry infrastructure. The film follows indigenous activists and non-indigenous allies in their resistance to the pipelines traversing native lands and essential waterways.

NECESSITY is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent →

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Our Bodies Our Doctors

Our Bodies Our Doctors

Specular Productions, LLC, was established in 2017 to create and distribute OUR BODIES OUR DOCTORS, a feature-length film guided by anti-stigma research. The documentary takes viewers into a quiet rebellion in the field of medicine as groups of doctors come out publicly as abortion providers, even as the larger medical community regards them as “rogue physicians.” The film follows these “rogue” physicians as they work with women’s clinics founded on feminist principles, and shows how these doctors draw on insights from the women’s health care movement of the 1970s, including Our Bodies, Ourselves—a foundational feminist text of that period.

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Kuwepo (“Being There” in Swahili) follows the daily lives of doctors, nurses and medical assistants in the Nairobi region of Kenya as they work to provide post-abortion care for women.  The film offers a close-up view of these demanding and stigmatized jobs. We also see how communities around these clinics depend on the providers for services, from delivering babies, inserting birth control methods, to abortion care.  The film takes up social class and religious attitudes that affect access to abortion as well, and how women are coming together to speak out about what they see as driving the stigma against abortion.

To stream the film, visit the MarieStopes Kenya YouTube Channel

Feminists Walking the City: Revisiting sites of resistance in London and Portland

From Portland’s Walk of the Heroines to London’s streets, Professor Maggie O’Neill (University of York) invites filmmaker and Professor Jan Haaken to join her on a walk that re-traces a walk Haaken developed with colleagues in Portland in honour of inspiring women.

Feminists Walking the City invites viewers on a journey through London’s streets in search of images of the city’s heroines beginning in Tavistock Square with Virginia Woolf and closing with Emmaline Pankhurst in Victoria Tower Gardens, near the houses of parliament; and they find so few! Filmed by Nelli Stavropoulou, directed by Jan Haaken and Maggie O’Neill, the documentary combines archival footage, walking methods and new forms of cinematic storytelling.

Official selection for the London Independent Film Festival 2017.

To view the film, visit  Feminists Walking the City: Revisiting sites of resistance in London and Portland 

Milk Men: The Life and Times of Dairy Farmers

Milk Men takes viewers into the world of a small group of dairy producers in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, following the paths of farmers—owners, herdsmen, milkers and family members—through changing seasons in this dramatic and diverse agricultural terrain. The documentary captures the dynamic richness of these changes in the lives of people, cows, and communities, and how these farms are at the center of major transformations in the modern world, while struggling to preserve family and cultural legacies.

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MIND ZONE: Therapists Behind the Front Lines

“Mind Zone” follows therapists in a Combat Stress Control unit as they carry out two conflicting missions: protecting soldiers from battle fatigue and keeping these same soldiers in the fight. With psychiatric casualties mounting, the Army ups the deployment of mental health detachments to war zones—an undertaking on a scale previously unimaginable. As the 113th is deployed to replace the 883rd in Afghanistan, Colonel David Rabb and his team of young therapists prepare for their dual missions, and their dual roles as soldiers and healers. In telling their story, “Mind Zone” takes a deeper look at the use and abuse of psychology in war.

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Guilty Except for Insanity

“Guilty Except for Insanity” follows patients who enter the Oregon State Hospital through the insanity plea and paints a portrait of a maddening world. Site of the filming of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the Oregon State Hospital has been the center of public controversy, including charges of civil rights abuses of patients. This documentary tells a different side of the story. It offers a unique glimpse into the lives of patients and staff caught in an insane system—one that reflects larger national trends toward incarceration of individuals suffering mental health crises.

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Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag

“Queens of Heart” brings to the screen the first psychological study of drag performance, set in the oldest surviving female impersonation club in the United States. Portland’s Darcelle XV Showplace has become a rite of passage for young women throughout the Pacific Northwest celebrating their “last night out” before getting married. Seventy-five year old Darcelle XV, co- proprietor, performer, and activist, comforts and confronts her audiences, from the brides gone wild and their nervous male companions, to gays and lesbians celebrating a step in coming out, to older women recovering from an illness or divorce. For more information, go to

Moving to the Beat

In this unique documentary, an African American hip-hop group journeys to Freetown, Sierra Leone to discover a spiritual homeland and resurrect Chuck D’s notion of hip hop as the “black CNN.” The language of hip-hop allows for a dialogue between Black Americans and Africans to explore issues of race, gender, war, conflict and more, and to confront each side’s stereotype of the other. The result is a deeply forged connection that transcends centuries of misunderstanding and separation.

Diamonds, Guns and Rice

Accompanied by the documentary DVD, Diamonds, Guns, and Rice

Speaking Out addresses the effects of war on gender and reparation in a five- part, interactive curriculum that is adaptable for differing educational levels, from secondary schooling to college. Based on the documentary “Diamonds, Guns, and Rice,”  this curriculum bridges the local and the global, placing gripping personal stories in an international landscape and highlighting the creative capacities that survive war.Speaking Out grew from an international peace project addressing issues of war from the personal effects of combat to institutional factors shaping armed conflicts. Stories, games, and role-playing are interwoven with lessons on colonialism, West African agricultural economy, international banking, diamond and arms trades, and peace-building projects. A copy of “Diamonds, Guns, and Rice” accompanies this book, providing the reader with a visual and deeply moving journey into the lives of women in a war zone.

For more info or to order for educational use, go to Amazon →