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Category Archives: Movies

Spirited Away

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Chihiro gets trapped in a world she is unfamiliar with and her parents have been turned into pigs.

What follows is a story of how Chihiro learns to survive in her new surroundings – a place filled with creatures she has never encountered including a smelly sludge-monster, a towering baby and boy that transforms into a white dragon.  If she cannot learn to rely on herself, she may never rescue her parents and escape from this bizarre land where gods and spirits exist among the living.

Hayao Miyazaki (Director and Writer) knows how to do strong female characters. His girls are warriors and survivors, and he doesn’t fail to deliver in Spirited Away.

*A special thanks to the wonderful internet for this:


The Bechdel Test

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From feministfrequency.

Are the movies you are watching representing well-rounded female characters?

The Bechdel Test is a way to determine whether there is an active female presence in a film. There are three things a movie must have to pass the test:

1. At least two female characters who;

2. Interact with each other and;

3. Don’t just talk about men!

You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to find, but as evidenced in the video above from Femininst Frequency, it is!

If you think you have a good feel for what movies pass the Bechdel Test, try this:  think of 3 movies that you think will pass the test, and check out this movie list to see how many you get right. Sadly, it’s harder than it seems!  I only got two out of my 3 guesses right – Just One of the Guys (I had to dig back into my trove of 80s movies) and Easy A (which is, according to the website, up for debate!).


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Persepolis is a film based on the graphic novel/memoir of the life of a young woman growing up during the Iranian Cultural Revolution.  At a very young age, Marjane understands that change happening. She is now forced to wear a black veil to school.  She is no longer in classes with boys her age.  She is not allowed to question authority.  She watches as her parents’ hopes crumble as the fundamentalists take over.

Marjane is a precocious and outspoken girl, so she begins to challenge the authorities.  She outwits the “social guardians” and discovers punk and ABBA. In this scene, she is buying illegal music wearing her homemade punk clothes:

Her parents begin to worry about her, thinking her bold, rebellious personality will get her into trouble or even worse. So she is sent off to Austria at the age of 14 to protect her from the fundamentalist regime in Iran.  Here, she is faced with a new set of problems – fitting in.  Marjane will find a new life and even love, but she may never find home again.