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Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement-
(June, 1968) 8 pages total

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by Amy Kesselman

In both its content and the way it was produced, this film by a group of people blacklisted in the McCarthy era has many meanings for us in the Movement. It is symbolic of the fact that repression can never be totally realized; that somehow, people find ways to continue working for the things that are important to them.
This group of film-makers knew that they had something to say that wasn't being said by Hollywood. They wanted to tell a story of working people and their struggle for dignity. But as they were making the film, freed from the confines of the bourgeois film industry, they learned something else. They found that if a movie was to tell the story of people, the people themselves must be involved in its direction, acting and writing. So, the members of Local 890 of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union (expelled from the CIO in the early fifties), the heroes of the film, were involved in every aspect of its production.
The message of this movie, according to its script writer, is "the indivisibility of equality. " It is the story of the struggle of Mexican-American miners for equality with "Anglo" miners and of the struggle of their women for equality with men. As the heroine put it, "I want to rise and push everything with me as I go."
This movie is real; painfully real to those of us who are women and who know the agony of being treated as trivial by the men in the Movement to which we have dedicated ourselves, a Movement pledged to build a society where every human being has dignity.
For women the message was clear; men will treat women as equals when women organize, become a vital part of struggles, and unceasingly demand to be treated as human beings.
I am unsure how men react to the movie. Their comments indicate an attempt to escape from it: "Latin American men really treat their women bed, " one said. "It was a movie about unions, not women, " protested another. Most men sat silently at those points in the film when the women were cheering wildly. These men will not be changed by a film. It is up to us to change them.

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