Wonder Woman documentary screening called ‘very inspiring’
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 23:10
Students were treated to a screening of the documentary “Wonder Woman: The Untold Story of American Superheroines” Wednesday evening at the Dodd Center. The screening was another in a series of special events being organized by the UConn Women’s Center, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary on campus.
The documentary presents a discussion of the roles of female heroines in American popular culture since the introduction of the “Wonder Woman” comic book in 1941. The first one-third of the film dealt with the creation of the documentary’s titicular character, Wonder Woman, arguably the genesis of all modern female action heroines. The remainder of the film followed the progression of female heroines throughout the media from television to comics to film from the 1950’s forward to the present day. Wonder Woman is again credited for a rise in female heroines in 1970’s television. Hit shows such as “Charlie’s Angels” and “The Bionic Woman” were made possible due to the success of the seventies “Wonder Woman” television show starring Linda Carter. The rise of “tough” female action stars is credited in the film to have begun with Sigourney Weaver’s performance as Elena Ripley in 1986’s “Aliens” and Linda Hamilton’s character of Sarah Conner in 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (both directed by James Cameron). Other female icons that were also touched upon included “Thelma and Louise”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and Captain Janeway from “Star Trek Voyager”.
While the documentary begins with discussing the creation of Wonder Woman and the character’s impact on subsequent feminine heroes, the film begins to push issues of feminism as a whole, which the film says are still adversely affected by the portrayal of heroines and women in entertainment media.
Quite interestingly, some of the most controversial anti-feminism characters to have garnered controversy in recent years have come from video games such as “Tomb Raider.” Disappointingly, the film doesn’t even mention the subject of feminism in gaming at all. 5th-semester anthropology major Kathryn Sanders concurred “I would have liked the film to have touched on other aspects of media like video games,” she said.
Varun Khattar, a 1st-semester undecided/ACES Pre Med major said, “I thought the film was inspiring and I feel like more people should have the opportunity to view the film. I’m surprised more people didn’t show up.”
Producer Kelsey Edwards, who has been working on the film for over five years, was on hand to present the film to the students in attendance and followed the screening with a short Q&A during which she was asked about the lack of video games from the documentary. “We didn’t deliberately leave (video games out) and this was a concern for the film’s directors and mine. We wished to end the film at a ‘where are we now’ point (with video games being a fairly new medium). Actually, we are working on a video game component for the film with the working title ‘Wonder City.’“
An actual game, “Wonder City,” will “address issues of feminism in respect to video games,” according to Edwards.
The documentary was extremely informative and anyone interested in comics, feminism, or pop culture in general would be advised to view the production. The film is currently being shown across the country at film festivals but it will be broadcast on PBS on March 25, 2013.