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Taking Action: Ordinary Women at the Epicentre of Change (PG*)

Artists & Activists

I Am Somebody

In these two films, women who did not see themselves as activists are forced by extreme circumstances to fight for what is right, resulting in more far-reaching changes than they could have imagined.


I Am Somebody

In 1969, 400 poorly paid black women – hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina – went on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the National Guard and the state government and supported by such notables as Andrew Young, Charles Abernathy, and Coretta Scott King.

’As the first contemporary documentary made by, for, and about black women workers, I Am Somebody offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the intersections between feminism, union activism, and the civil rights movement in the late sixties... ‘  – Shilyh Warren, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

US 1970 Dir Madeline Anderson 30 min Digital presentation
Preserved by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

An Academy Award-nomined  film telling the story of a group of mothers who have all lost a son or daughter during Argentina's Dirty War in the 1970s when thousands of people disappeared. In a society where women were expected to be silent, they came together in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, and demanded to learn the fate of their children.

Argentina 1985 Dir Lourdes Portillo 64 min Digital presentation
Preserved with support from NYWIFT’s Women’s Film Preservation Fund


Total run time 94 min

* This film has been locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Curated by: Ann Deborah Levy and Kirsten Larvick, Co-Chairs, the Women’s Film Preservation Fund, with programming assistance from Susan Lazarus and Amy Aquilino

The Women's Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) is the only programme in the world dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of women in the industry through preserving films made by women. Founded in 1995 by New York Women in Film & Television in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), WFPF has preserved more than 150 American films in which women have played key creative roles. These include works by early feminists, women of colour, social activists and artists that represent unique and irreplaceable contributions to American cinematic heritage. Films already preserved range from those of early pioneers, Lois Weber and Alice Guy Blaché, experimental filmmaker, Maya Deren, animator Mary Ellen Bute, to more contemporary feature director Julie Dash; director and cinematographer Jessie Maple; documentarians Trinh T. Minh-ha and Barbara Kopple, and more. The WFPF is rewriting the film history books, one moving picture at a time. 

More information can be found online at:  

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energises the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality. The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,100 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members.

More information can be found online at:


Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.


Barbican Cinema 3