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Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed (12A*) + ScreenTalk

Part of: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Shirley Chisholm

US politician Shirley Chisholm achieved a number of important firsts in her career, none more audacious and inspiring than her campaign to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1972. 

Already a trailblazer, Brooklynite Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the US Congress in 1968, representing New York. Honest, forthright and a skilful orator, Chisholm caused a stir in announcing her candidacy for president.

Underestimated by many, including other (male) members of the Congressional Black Caucus – a group that she also helped to found – Chisholm faced the double discrimination of racism and sexism, taking on naysayers with wit, intelligence and spot-on pronouncements. 

Shola Lynch’s documentary features interviews with supporters and opponents alike, contextualised by emotive footage of Vietnam War protests, the Black Panthers and the Women’s movement. After the Obama presidency and the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chisholm’s story takes on even greater bearing. This is a woman everyone should know about. 

Zing Tsjeng, Broadly Editor, VICE, will leada discussion with Bonnie GreerHarini Iyengar after the film.

US 2004 Dir Shola Lynch 77 min

Zing Tsjeng's book Forgotten Women: The Leaders, which features Shirley Chisholm, will be available the Barbican Shop.

Zing Tsjeng is the UK Editor of's female-vertical Broadly. The channel focuses on women's issues and has been hailed as the 'slickest feminist platform around'. Zing has also become a spokesperson for millennial women, debating at Telegraph Women events, twice appearing on Late Night Woman's Hour and writing for Dazed, the Guardian and Broadly.

Harini Iyengar is an elected national Spokesperson and Member of Policy Committee, and a founding member, of the Women's Equality Party.  She stood for Parliament in 2017 and for the Greater London Assembly in 2016 and will be standing in the Hackney local elections in 2018.

Harini earns her living as a barrister, is a Governing Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and sits on the Temple Women's Forum Steering Group and the Bar Council Retention Panel.  She is currently writing A Practical Guide to the Law of Gender Pay Gap Reporting due for publication in September and frequently appears on BBC, Sky and other media as a legal expert on a wide range of equalities issues. Harini is an Independent Governor of London Metropolitan University.  She is the lone parent of three school-age children.

Bonnie Greer was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a former New Yorker and participant in the city’s innovative 'Downtown Culture' of the late ‘70s to mid ‘80s . She was also part of the Black Students Movement of the early '70s, where she became politically active. She has lived in the UK since 1986, and has been a dual national US/UK citizen for over 20 years.  She is the author of numerous plays, books, and a libretto. Her last play was produced in 2016 during the run-up to the 2016 American election.  She is a frequent cultural and political commentator on TV and was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the arts.

*This film is locally classified by Barbican Cinema 

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings

This film is F-Rated. The F-Rating is a classification for any film which is directed by a woman, and/or written by a woman, and/or features significant women on screen in their own right.

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Watch: Young Reviewer on 'Nevertheless, She Persisted'


Young Reviewer Jessa previews our feminist film festival, 'Nevertheless, She Persisted: Suffrage, cinema and beyond', and shares her favourite stories of the featured trailblazing women who've fought for equality.

illustration of shirley chisholm

Watch: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Inspired by the 100-year anniversary of the first women gaining the right to vote in the UK, we present a timely season of feature films and documentaries that look at women’s rebellious and often dangerous strides towards equality.

The Art of Change

See how artists respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape in our 2018 season

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