Filming an interview with Rosario Dawson for "Miss Representation"
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom
The debate regarding the objectification of women in the media has been an ongoing issue for decades. In fact, it was the same topic discussed in Jean Kilbourne’s 1979 documentary short, “Killing Us Softly”. In an effort to reexamine and expand the research, director Jennifer Siebel Newsom has reopened the dialogue to investigate how far America has progressed in the past 32 years. Sadly, the result is still disheartening. Today’s female teenagers are the most media-consuming individuals who ever lived. Each week, they devour over 31 hours of television and 17 hours of music and the entire underlying message with this programming is that women are valued more for their physical attraction rather than their mental capability. Newsom presents a compelling argument with astonishing statistics supported by an array of video documentation that clearly demonstrates the lingering existence of sexism in our country. Utilizing unknown high school students and A-list celebrities, Newsom captures candid interviews with earnest and raw emotions, but hits her stride with moving arguments that document recent accounts of prejudice including the unbalanced treatment of Hillary Clinton vs. Sarah Palin and the ongoing exploitation of women directors and actresses in Hollywood. Newsom delivers a critical and well-executed argument that focuses on the facts without hitting below the belt.