Femminismo! (2017) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

The history of feminism in Italy is explored with a mix of older footage, current interviews, bits of fiction to show the history and attempt to reach younger generations who seem to believe they do not need feminism in this day and age.

Director Paola Columba creates this documentary with a good mix of archival footage and new interviews with a wide array of women on both sides of the issue, those who strongly believe feminism is absolutely needed and those who think it’s a thing of the past that is not doing any good in this day and age. The interviews are varied and shot simply and they are done without any frills. The film’s style is simple yet effective, something highly needed to pass the message to people who may not want to see the reality these women have faced and still face to get equality to become a reality.

Femminismo! is an educational documentary in part and one that is historical. It’s definitely more centered on feminism in Italy, but it also touches on other countries, and on how feminism is needed everywhere for equality to be achievable around the globe. The film makes strong points through speaking on many subject, one that has been very present these last few years is the prevalence of gendered toys with girl toys being sweet, pink, and glittery and boy toys being blue, solid, and teach them life skills. This creates a separation of gender roles from a young age and the film explores how this can cause problems that are more systemic than just on the individual level. This subject, and others such as the impact of social media, is approached in ways that are interesting and filled with information.

Femminismo! is an exploration of why some younger women see feminism, like machismo, negatively. It then makes the very good point that it’s not about women being above men but wanting equality. Considering the current state of life in the United States and in other developed countries, this film is an important documentary that has a lot to say and that lets women who have lived through other eras speak on it and speak on why it’s so important to not let things stay as they are or regress. Femminismo! is of course a documentary that is biased as most are these days, but it’s a biased towards showing how feminism is still highly needed to achieve equality and that without the younger generations involvement, equality is at a risk of being at a standstill or, worse, being rolled back.