In 1971, the modern women’s movement was picking up steam. Women across the country were talking about feminism and oppression.
In this climate of revolution, Wright State University film professors Julia Reichert and Jim Klein produced the first feature-length film of the movement.
On Oct. 24, Growing Up Female will be screened at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The film is also in the running for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
Growing Up Female looks at female socialization through the lives of six women, age 4 to 35, and the forces that shape them, including teachers, counselors, advertising, music and marriage.
Gloria Steinem, one of the unforgettable faces of the women’s movement, called Growing Up Female “a true and piercing look at American womanhood.”
The film was widely distributed for decades. It was recently restored to a new 16mm print with a grant from The Women’s Film Preservation Fund, a project of New York Women in Film & Television.
“It is wonderful to experience a new birth—a new life—for this film, which is now seen as a classic,” said Reichert.
Earlier this year, the film was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C. It has been nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry each year for the past five years and has advanced to the list of finalists twice.
“It’s a totally unique film, the first of its kind,” said W. Stuart McDowell, chair of the Wright State Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. “Julia and Jim are really the historians of our time. Their films hold a camera up to humanity and document the age in which we live.”