WHAT HARM IS IT TO BE A WOMAN?
Client: The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive, Health and Ethics
Length: 109 minutes (four parts)
"We consider the choice of Attie and Goldwater to be one of our very best decisions. They understood what we were doing and enhanced our message in the video, giving it powerful emotional impact while accurately presenting our intellectual message . . . The first time I showed it to my class at Marquette something happened that I had never experienced in years as a university professor. When the video ended, the bell rang signaling the end of class. No one moved! They were transfixed by the power of the documentary . . . We would not consider working with any other producers in our future projects."
—Daniel C. Maguire, President, The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive, Health and Ethics and Professor of Religion and Ethics, Marquette University
Description: What Harm is it to be a Woman? is an exploration of the role that world religions have played in violence against women, as well as the role they play in eliminating that violence.
Client goal: The Religious Consultation is an international, multi-faith network of progressive religious scholars and leaders that supports the production of scholarly books and documentary films. What Harm is it to be a Woman? was commissioned by this group to provide an educational tool for colleges, universities, religious organizations and community activists looking at the issue of violence against women.
This educational documentary is comprised of four chapters:
- Violence Within Marriage and Judaism (21 min.) unfolds in an Orthodox community in Baltimore where an abusive husband refuses to give his wife a get (religious divorce) and a Jewish service organization rallies support for the wife.
- Domestic Violence and Christianity (22 min.) explores the work done by a New York-based nonprofit to support religious women seeking to leave abusive marriages.
- Exploitation of Women in Buddhism (33 min.) centers on work being done by religious female leaders in Thailand to redefine their place in Buddhism.
- Female Genital Cutting and Islam (32 min.) centers on the debate among religious leaders in Mali where grassroots organizations are fighting to end this traditional practice.