Documentary Filmmaker Explores the Topic of Sexism - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Documentary Filmmaker Explores the Topic of Sexism

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A Bismarck woman explores the topic of sexism. Her one-hour documentary includes voices from many generations. And it was all filmed right here in Bismarck.

"It's called Freedom Barrel: North Dakota Voices on Feminism and Sexism. Freedom Barrel pays homage to the movement in the 1960s," says filmmaker Jessy Hegland. "Whenever you type in feminism in a Google search engine, you'll get this image of the 1968 Miss America pageant and demonstration. No bras were actually burned at that event. They just threw bras, mops, pots and pans in a trash can, and it was called a freedom trash can. So, I wanted to do something to pay homage of that feminist movement in the 60s, but I wanted to add a little North Dakota twist to it. What's more North Dakotan than a burn barrel?"

"It was a catharsis, so to speak, to have this bra. And what does it represent to you? And then, we're just going to burn it," says Hegland.

"It was hard to be someone that was for women's rights and for equal rights for women in North Dakota, especially in the seventies, because, it was looked on so unfavorably, especially by men," says Tammy Schwab, who appears in the documentary.

"There is a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of breaking some of those stereotypes down, rethinking those roles, and having people really examine their own thinking about women in our society," says Tim Hathaway, who also appears in the documentary.

"There are more people than you think that are passionate about these issues. And perhaps, it's just a North Dakota nice thing, or whatever it may be that we like to be kind of quiet. We don't like to be as outspoken or anything like that. But, when given the opportunity and a safe environment to tell these stories, it was very powerful," says Hegland. "And it was very powerful for me that the people that I interviewed felt comfortable to open up with these memories and these stories."

The one-hour documentary will be shown tonight at 7 at  the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Church in Bismarck. A discussion will follow.

The event is free and open to the public.

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