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This past weekend, Matthew Schuchman attended screenings at the first annual Athena Film Festival.  The festival that celebrates women in film was held at Barnard College in uptown NYC.  Here are three short reviews from some films viewed during the festival.

Bhutto- Three ‘Staches.

Benazir Bhutto is one of the most important politicians this world has ever seen.  The first female prime minister of Pakistan, she was assassinated after returning to the country after 8 years of exile to run for a third seat as the PM.  The documentary does a good job of showing all sides of Bhutto and not just showering her with praise the whole time and even adds the doubts and issues that people like her niece have bought up about her.  The one problem with the movie is though, it seems to focus a lot of time about Pakistan’s history and sometimes feels like it is more of a history lesson then about this amazing woman.  That being said, the history of this country is something that I think a lot of American’s are clueless about and need to learn, especially in this troubled world climate where every Middle Eastern state is being clumped together as one in the minds of people who don’t know any better.

My So Called Enemy- Two ‘Staches.

“My So Called Enemy” documents  a group of teenage girls who take part in a camp (Building Bridges for Peace)  that brings Palestinians and Israelis together to talk out their fears and attempt to build bridges between them.  It is an interesting process to watch and it is hard to really side with either argument, but intentionally or not, the film does show what the fight is like between these two states; emotional teenage girls who refuse to listen to each other, even when they get along.

Chisolm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed-Two ‘Staches.

Before Barack Obama, there was Shirley Chisolm, who in 1972 was the first black woman to be in the primaries as a nominee for the President of the United States. She was tough, smart and didn’t take any crap from anyone.  She may have not had a chance to win but she did play a big role in the way things turned out during the primaries.  This interesting piece of our history is presented as nothing more than information rather than statement on more current political climates.

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