Miss Representation, a 2011 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary, shows the experience of women in the United States, from media’s portrayal of women to the representation of women in political bodies.
The film will be shown on campus at 6 p.m. on May 20 in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room for free.
The Associated Students Women’s Center and YWCA’s program “Girls on the Run” teamed up to show Miss Representation. Women’s Center Assistant Coordinator Sasha Parsley said the project consisted of buying the rights to show the movie, paid for by the YWCA, which costs about $500.
The film will be shown on a large format screen in high definition and food will be provided.
The screenings of “Miss Representation” are limited because it was never shown in traditional theaters, and instead premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network after its Sundance debut. Many people do not have access to that channel, which limits the amount of viewers the documentary has had, Parsley said.
Parsley, who has not seen the film before, is hopeful about the messages it will send the attendees. The plan is to screen the film, provide food and possibly discuss the film’s information and importance after the screening.
On the contrary, Women’s Center Creative Programming Coordinator, Taneum Bambrick, previously saw the film in her women’s studies class.
“[It is important] to understand the greater undercurrent of obstacles that women face when moving up into important roles in society,” Bambrick said. “‘Miss Representation’ shows the pathway that women take from beginning to end.”
In addition to Western students, the showing will consist of community members as well. From the Girls on the Run group, Parsley expects to see many young women from the community to attend as well.
Though the information in “Miss Representation” is important for everyone, it is most important on young women who are impacted most, usually around the ages of 12 to 14, Parsley said. She is excited for these girls to experience the film.
“A movie like this is pertinent for every age group to watch and understand,” Parsley said. “By the time women are in college [the negative media portrayal] has really been engrained and so we’re trying to reverse [the affects].”
Because of this, Parsley sees the film as a way to try and prevent young girls from taking that portrayal of women and applying it to themselves.
Even though this film is important for young girls, it is equally important for all ages and gender identities.
Western junior Tammy Matixonh plans to attend the screening of “Miss Representation.” She said her friend mentioned the screening to her and said the film intrigued her.
“[My friend] said it opened her eyes about perspectives on situations she never thought about before,” Matixonh said. “I want to see what story the director has to tell and how it is portrayed.”
The film is centered on the experiences of women in the United States being kept from achieving their full potential from societal structures, Bambrick said.
Even though the film shows media representation of women, the Women’s Center does not want the film to marginalize people for media consumption.
“[The film] is not saying don’t buy Cosmopolitan or watch Gossip Girl. It’s not meant to shame people,” Parsley said. “It’s about education and being aware of what the [media] messages are telling us.”