Women across the globe have a lot to be fired up about, and with this year’s International Women’s Day taking on the theme #BeBoldForChange, there’s no better time to get out and fight for gender equality. Before you do, here are six SBS On Demand programs that will get you in a patriarchy-smashing frame of mind...
Servant or Slave
Indigenous Australians have been treated appallingly over the past two centuries and women bore the brunt of much of that treatment. Using first-person accounts, archival footage and reconstructions, Servant or Slave provides a powerful insight into the domestic servitude forced upon Aboriginal women in the 20th century. It’ll get your blood boiling, no matter what your background.
As far as safe spaces go, there’s no cooler place than the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland. This 2007 doco follows several girls, aged from eight to 18, as they spend a week away from the pressures of everyday society to learn an instrument, write a song and pick up some lessons in self-determination along the way. Given the location, is it any surprise that Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein is one of their teachers? Put a bird on it!
“The strange science of female pleasure” is the subject of this documentary, which takes a peek inside the life of its maker, Liz Canner, after she’s employed to edit erotic videos that will be used in a drug trial. Her employer is working on “female Viagra” to treat Female Sexual Dysfunction, and as Canner’s investigations go deeper, she starts to suspect they might be trying to take advantage of women in pursuit of profit.
Battle of the Sexes
To this day, tennis remains an oddly segregated sport, with women playing fewer sets than their male counterparts for... reasons. Back in 1973, things were even worse. That’s when Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs, the Grand Slam champion, to prove a point about their relative skills on the court. At first she ignored his taunting, but the lure of $100,000 prize money and the match’s title – same as this doco’s title – lured her into the challenge. Did she win? Watch and learn.
Perhaps not what you would immediately suspect from the title, this is the story of one woman’s journey through the fashion industry. Precious Muir moved from London to New York in the hope of kicking her career up a notch. Things haven’t gone as planned, so she decides her best bet is to have her breasts enlarged from a B to a D cup. We follow her through the procedure and unexpected aftermath, getting all the gory surgical details.
This one's technically a film – but it's based on a true story and going by the way it was produced, it could almost be considered a documentary. Kandahar is about an Afghani-born Canadian who goes back to her homeland in search of her suicidal sister. Made in 2001, it’s a compelling, visually stunning and ultimately horrific view of life under the Taliban. Partially filmed in Afghanistan (in secret), starring actors who largely play themselves, it’s best described as thinly fictionalised reality.