Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Family of Woman Film Festival Looks at Terrifying Medicine, Unfounded Witch Accusations
“Facing the Dragon” was filmed as the Taliban regained its hold in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Sunday, January 13, 2019


One is a 9-year-old accused of witchcraft and exiled to a traveling witch camp in Zambia.

Another is a 23-year-old who escaped from ISIS and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts testifying before the United Nations on behalf of refugee camps in Iraq.

These are two of the women you will meet during the 2019 Family of Woman Film Festival, which takes place Feb. 25 through March 3.

The festival will take place this year at the Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum with 3 and 7 p.m. film screenings for each of the six films that will be presented.

“We wanted to give people a choice so those who prefer to see the films in the afternoon can do so,” said Festival Founder Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, who staged America’s premiere of “Tea with Dames” at the Magic Lantern a few months ago.

“The biggest theater at the Magic Lantern holds 140 seats so double that and you have about the same number of seats as in the Sun Valley Opera House,” added Goldwyn. “The Magic Lantern gives us a more intimate setting like what you see at most movie festivals.”

The theme of the 12th annual Family of Woman Film Festival is “Women Still Waiting for a Change.”

With the political turmoil in the United States and around the world, many may feel that the gains women have made in the past few years are slipping away, said Goldwyn.

“This year we would like to point out that slow progress towards full equality remains a tide that cannot be turned, while still recognizing those women’s voices that are still waiting to be heard,” she added. “You can’t stop the tide of history.  And, as the world becomes more open and young people more educated, I think women even in the most repressed parts of the world are not going to put up with being held back anymore.”

The festival will kick off on Monday, Feb. 25, when the festival presents a free screening of “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter,” at Ketchum’s Community Library amidst beautiful photographs of women from around the world provided by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

 “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter,” presented at the Family of Woman Film Festival in 2010, depicts a mother fighting for asylum in the United States because her two-year-old daughter will undergo female genital mutilation if she is forced to return to Mali. Filmmakers Barbara Attie and Barbara Goldwater will present the film.

“It was the first case where a woman was granted asylum because of gender,” said Goldwyn. “And it shows that people coming here are running away from horrible things.”

The retrospective will be followed by other films beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27. Filmmakers will be present to answer questions following screenings:

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27— “The Bleeding Edge.”

 Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, who filmed “The Hunting Ground” and “The Invisible War,” turn their lenses on the $400 billion medical device industry with its lax regulations, corporate cover-ups and profit-driven incentives that put patients at risk daily.

The film tells the stories of people whose lives have been irrevocably harmed when new technology is rushed to market, noting that a large percentage of these devices target women. Among them, women whose intestines fell out after robotic surgery. Amy Herdy, who does much of the detective work for the film, will present it.

THURSDAY, FEB. 28— “The Judge.”

This 81-minute documentary from Palestine provides a rare insight in Shari’a law, an often-misunderstood legal framework for Muslims.

Director Erika Cohn, who will present the film, tells the story through the eyes of Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts. The film also offers an uncensored look at life for women under Shari’a law.

“People tell a lot of lies about what Shari’a law is. In the film we see the judge saying, ‘No, no, no, that’s not what the law says,’” Goldwyn said.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1— “I Am Not a Witch.”

This 93-minute drama from Zambia has been nominated by Great Britain for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It follows a 9-year-old who is exiled to a traveling witch camp after a minor incident in her village. She is the only child among women accused of witchcraft and exploited as field laborers until a government official co-opts her to use her “powers” for his own gain. The film was inspired by actual witch accusations during a severe drought.

“We hope to get the director-- Rungano Nyoni who was born in Zambia but raised in Wales,” said Goldwyn. “It’s an amazing drama—and there’s something kind of magical about it—I couldn’t stop watching it.”

SATURDAY, MARCH 2— “Facing the Dragon.”

 This 80-minute Afghanistan documentary follows Nilofar, a member of Parliament, and Shakila, a television journalist, as they’re forced to choose between motherhood and ambition as American forces and aid leave Afghanistan. Filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi’s film won the 2018 Human Rights Watch Nester Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking.

“There were times she thought she would never be able to finish the film. The story took another turn when the lives of the two women were threatened,” Goldwyn noted.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3— “On Her Soldiers.”

 This 94-minute documentary follows 23-year-old Nadia Murad, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped ISIS to become a beacon of hope for her people. Filmmaker Alexandria Bombach captures her as she testifies before the United Nations, visits refugee camps and conducts soul-bearing media interviews and one-on-one meetings with top government officials.

Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize following the completion of the film.

Tickets will be available at Chapter One Bookstore on Feb. 1 and at the Magic Lantern Cinemas beginning Feb. 27.


Dr. Natalia Kamen, the executive director of UNFPA and Under Secretary General of the United Nations, will speak at the Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at The Community Library.

She is one of the most accomplished and respected leaders on the world stage, said Goldwyn. She has a medical degree from Columbia University in New York and a Master’s degree in Public Health with specializations in epidemiology and preventive medicine from the University of Washington. She also studied history and science at Harvard University.

After starting her career in academia with the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health, she helped pioneer work in women’s reproductive health and sexuality in places like West Africa in 1992 to 2005. She worked in social justice programs in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America.

And she served as UNFPA representative in the Untied Republic of Tanzania from 2014 to 2016.

POV (Point of View) Breakfasts for donors who give $500 and more will also take place on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 27-28.

The Family of Woman Film Festival was founded in 2008 by Goldwyn and Friends of UNFPA, which works in more than 150 countries to assure women and girls have access to reproductive health care, education and basic human rights.

In partnership with UNFPA, Friends of UNFPA recently launched a new humanitarian campaign in Yemen. It has trained 7,500 midwives and supported 2,500 unemployed midwives, helping them establish their own private community clinics.

Over the years the festival has opened viewers’ eyes to the challenges—and triumphs—of women around the world.

The festival has partnered with Boise State University, which will screen “The Bleeding Edge” and “The Judge” on Feb. 26 and 27.

For more information, visit www.familyofwomanfilmfestival.org.



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