She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a reflection on (sometimes radical) feminism in America from the late 1960s through the mid 1970s, offers no shelter from the difficulty of its crusade.
We felt like we were changing the world,” says one of the women interviewed in Mary Dore’s documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” about the early years of the women’s liberation movement. And as Dore’s movie reminds us, feminists didn’t just feel as if they were changing the world — they changed it.
Dore’s movie packs a lot in, taking us on a whirlwind tour of those early years, roughly 1966 to 1971. Here are consciousness-raising groups; the birth of the National Organization for Women; protests at the 1968 Miss America Pageant; marches; poetry readings; “Our Bodies, Ourselves”; snippets of “The David Frost Show” (“Why are you so sensitive?” he asks his feminist guests); schisms in the movement (race, class, the lesbian “Lavender Menace”); and discussions of abortion, child care, sex, work and motherhood.
Dore combines historical footage and contemporary interviews with Susan Brownmiller, Rita Mae Brown, Kate Millett, Alix Kates Shulman and Ellen Willis, among others. (She frequently — and movingly — cuts from a modern interview to images of the speaker in her movement days.)
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