DOXA Film Festival

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

Date and Venue 19 September 2012, 7pm | Rio Theatre 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver

Reviewer Shannon Rayne

Acclaimed film maker, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, presents a thorough and well researched documentary on the history of women superheroes, from the 1940s to the present day, with a special focus on Wonder Woman – a powerful heroine who fought Fascism with truth, compassion and strength. Enlightening, informative and surprising at times, the director shows us how comic and film heroines have changed in response to the prevalent attitudes of each era. Modern day heroines are often portrayed as overly sexualized, masculine or weak; offering girls little to look up to.

This is an important film that encourages us to examine how women are depicted in the media and to recognize the lack of powerful female role models available for girls. The scarcity of strong women in pop culture is not a new realization for me. During the second half of the film, I often felt led by the hand by the director to critically think about the issues raised, as she presented interview after interview with feminist scholars, writers, fans and actors.

In contrast, the first half offered a fascinating examination of the Wonder Woman character, where she came from, how she changed over the decades and how she inspired generations of women; offering the audience a deeper understanding of the Superhero many of us raised in the 70s desired to be. Much like back then, I wanted more Wonder Woman.

© 2012 Shannon Rayne