While we know Netflix is filled with campy shows & scary movies, they actually have a fabulous documentary section as well. This week I scoured their offerings to find a few shows on the history of American women & issues pertaining to them. I found a lot of interesting stuff. Most of it was produced for TV as either PBS shows or dramatized made for TV movies. Never the less, I think you’ll find some entertaining AND edu-ma-cational programs listed below & available to watch instantly on Netflix.
1. Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony (Not for Ourselves Alone): I love love love this Ken Burns produced documentary. I don’t even know how many times I have seen it. I’ve lost count. I find Elizabeth Cady Stanton to be fascinating. If you aren’t familiar with her, or many of the suffragettes, you should watch this now!
2. American Experience: Triangle Fire: The Triangle shirtwaist fire was a tragic manufacturing disaster in 1911 that shed light on horrible working conditions for laborers at the time. Most of the casualties of the accident were young women. This American Experience episode talks about the disaster and the changes it brought about in the suffrage movement & labor relations.
Of my entire list, number 1 & 2 are the only films I have actually seen! So read with me the Netflix blurbs for what these other shows are about:
3.!Women Art Revolution: Renowned artist Lynn Hershman-Leeson spent 40 years gathering interviews and news footage for this stunning documentary profiling the feminist art movement, which seeks to empower female artists and improve their access to male-dominated art spaces. This show features art & perspectives from Yoko Ono, Miranda July, The Guerrilla Girls, & Judy Chicago. Looks really good! I’m watching it TO-NITE.
4. American Experience: Dolley Madison: This installment of the critically acclaimed American Experience series sheds light on the remarkable Dolley Madison, the trailblazing wife of President James Madison who came to be known as the country’s “first” First Lady. “Queen Dolley,” as she came to be known, was a charming hostess and a fashion icon. But she was also a strong-willed heroine who pulled double duty as an adviser and diplomat.
5. When Billie Beat Bobby: What starts as a publicity stunt turns into a media sensation as 55-year-old Bobby Riggs (Ron Silver) — a chauvinistic, motormouthed, ex-Wimbledon champ — challenges feminist tennis superstar Billie Jean King (Holly Hunter) to an exhibition match. When they square off before a huge Astrodome crowd and a TV audience of millions, there’s more than money riding on the event. Hunter and Silver serve up ace performances in this engaging docudrama.
6. A Matter Of Sex (The Willmar 8): After watching men with less impressive credentials pad their salaries with high-paying promotions, disgruntled female bank tellers (led by Jean Stapleton of “All in the Family” fame) stage an organized protest for union rights. But in the small town of Willmar, Minn., speaking out doesn’t make a woman popular. Oscar-winning actress Lee Grant directs her daughter, Dinah Manoff, in this made-for-television drama based on actual events. Jean Stapleton, Judge Reinhold, AND Dinah Manoff. This is must a must see made for TV movie, people.
7. Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II: Looking back on a little-known part of the war effort that recruited female mathematicians to work as “computers” for the U.S. Army during World War II, this eye-opening documentary sheds light on some remarkable unsung heroines. From developing ballistics tables to programming the first electronic computer designed to improve Army efficiency, these top-secret “Rosies” made critical wartime contributions.
8. Unborn In The USA: Weaving together 70 exclusive interviews and rare archival footage, this exhaustive chronicle of the U.S. pro-life movement investigates the inner workings and deep pockets of the influential group. The filmmakers examine the movement’s icons, fundraising machines and inroads among college students. Documentarians Stephen Fell and Will Thompson traveled across 35 states in one year to capture this controversial story.
9. Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement: Forty-two years of romance, struggle and shared adventures finally culminate in marriage for lifelong lesbian couple Edie and Thea, who met in the 1960s and stayed together through the turbulent decades of activism and social change that followed. Looking at pictures from their past, the women marvel at simple triumphs — buying their first house together — and reminisce about the constant fear of exposure they once felt.