Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cory Booker, Margaret Cho, Katie Couric, Geena Davis, Rosario Dawson, Dianne Feinstein, Jane Fonda, Paul Haggis, Catherine Hardwicke, Dolores Huerta, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, Martha Lauzen, Lisa Ling, Rachel Maddow
Written by: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Jessica Congdon
Directed by: Jennifer Siebel Newsom
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 90
Date: 01/20/2011

Miss Representation (2011)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Media Immediacy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Miss Representation is a documentary directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who is the wife of Gavin Newsom, the ex-mayor of San Francisco and current Lieutenant Governor of California. (Gavin even appears in the movie.) But this is not a case of a politician's bored wife trying to assert her own identity. Miss Representation joins recent documentaries like Inside Job and the underrated I Am, which get to the core of what's wrong in America today.

Newsom's film begins by talking about feminism, and how girls and young women have very little current information about to be a strong female, not judged by looks alone. But she digs deeper into issues like giant corporations running all of American media as a cold-blooded business, with absolutely no regard for content or quality. Media has a huge power over us, and we have the power not to let it do that. Interviewing many of today's strongest and most interesting women on camera, Miss Representation is exciting and empowering, yet simple and entertaining. It's a must-see.

The Oprah Winfrey Network bought the distribution rights to this film, which is a shame, because it should have been more widely seen, and without that "Oprah" stigma (men needed to see this). Virgil Films has released the DVD, and Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell are annoyingly all over the place, every time you click anything, telling viewers what they're about to see before they see it. There are promos and trailers and other stuff, but Ms. Newsom doesn't seem to have been involved with the DVD at all.

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