Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women

Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity. The film marshals a range of new print and television advertisements to lay bare a stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes—images and messages that too often reinforce unrealistic, and unhealthy, perceptions of beauty, perfection, and sexuality. By bringing Kilbourne's groundbreaking analysis up to date, Killing Us Softly 4 stands to challenge a new generation of students to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about popular culture and its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, and gender violence.

JEAN KILBOURNE, Ed.D. is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. Her films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses.

Filmmaker Sut Jhally Running Time 45 mins Production Year 2010 Language English

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"When I was a freshman in college, I saw Jean Kilbourne speak in support of her documentary Killing Us Softly—and it quite literally changed my life. It illuminated so much about how the media work and the impact of ads on our collective psyche when it comes to self-esteem, body image and women. I am not exaggerating when I say that it put me on the path to becoming whatever it is I am today (girl advocate, body image activist, and feminist writer). Well, now an updated version of Killing Us Softly is out... and if you have never seen any of Jean's work, now is the time."
    
—Audrey Brashich, Author of All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty


Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype

Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and among the most diverse -- accounting for one-sixth of all Americans and tracing their origins to more than 20 countries. They are also a rising force in American politics. Yet across the American media landscape, from the broadcast airwaves to cable television and Hollywood film, the reality and richness of the Latino experience are virtually nowhere to be found.
In Latinos Beyond Reel, filmmakers Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun examine how US news and entertainment media portray—and do not portray—Latinos. Drawing on the insights of Latino scholars, journalists, community leaders, actors, directors, and producers, they uncover a pattern of gross misrepresentation and gross under-representation—a world in which Latinos tend to appear, if at all, as gangsters and Mexican bandits, harlots and prostitutes, drug dealers and welfare-leeching illegals.

The film challenges viewers to think critically about the wide-ranging effects of these media stereotypes, and to envision alternative representations and models of production more capable of capturing the humanity and diversity of real Latinos.

Filmmakers Miguel Picker & Chyng Sun Running Time 84 mins Production Year 2012 Language English

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"Latinos Beyond Reel is a comprehensive and powerful exploration of stereotypes of Latinos and Latinas in American media. Whether one dimensional representations are in film, cartoons, television shows, or in news the documentary makes clear that the effects are powerful, not only on Latinos but also on other populations' perceptions of Latinos. By examining both historical and contemporary representations, animated or actual, the film shows how stereotypes go beyond the symbolic realm and can harm the minds and bodies of Latinos, particularly children."

—Debra Merskin, Ph.D., Professor of Communication at the University of Oregon | Author of Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction


The Mean World Syndrome: Media Violence & The Cultivation of Fear

For years, debates have raged among scholars, politicians, and concerned parents about the effects of media violence on viewers. Too often these debates have descended into simplistic battles between those who claim that media messages directly cause violence and those who argue that activists exaggerate the impact of media exposure altogether. The Mean World Syndrome, based on the groundbreaking work of media scholar George Gerbner, urges us to think about media effects in more nuanced ways. Ranging from Hollywood movies and prime-time dramas to reality programming and the local news, the film examines how media violence forms a pervasive cultural environment that cultivates in heavy viewers, especially, a heightened state of insecurity, exaggerated perceptions of risk and danger, and a fear-driven propensity for hard-line political solutions to social problems. A provocative and accessible introduction to cultivation analysis, media effects research, and the subject of media influence and media violence more generally.

Filmmaker Jeremy Earp Running Time 51 mins Production Year 2010 Language English

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"Students in my classes respond very well to The Mean World Syndrome. This film effectively places cultivation analysis into the context of earlier media effects research, addresses television's contribution to our perceptions of race, and emphasizes the crucial political implications of Gerbner's ideas. The Mean World Syndrome is powerful and emotionally moving."

—Bill Yousman, Ph.D., Author of Prime Time Prisons on U.S. TV: Representation of Incarceration


Hiphopistan: Representing Locally in a Global City

This documentary film examines the impact of Hip-Hop culture on Istanbul youth and reveals how young Turkish rappers, DJs, break-dancers, and graffiti artists creatively blend popular influences with their local cultural values and traditions. In a world that is becoming increasingly exposed to global media, much has been debated as to whether or not societies and individuals can adopt influences from music, television, cinema, internet and fashion in a positive and constructive way without losing their own cultural identities and heritage. The dichotomy terms of “East” and “West” have unfortunately regularly coincided with “tradition” and “modernity” and “local” and “global” making it seem as though they are polarized opposites. 

While providing a glimpse into the lives of innovative youth in a predominantly Muslim and rapidly globalizing city, HIPHOPISTAN presents examples of how globalization can provide opportunities for creative changes rather than simply erasing local culture. Creative artists provide solutions that allow tradition and change to peacefully co-exist. By displaying how communities are created through the use of lyrics, beats, rhymes, dance, and graffiti art, HIPHOPISTAN emphasizes how the universality of music and expression blurs all cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic boundaries and barriers and thus raises awareness of the many similarities of youth culture worldwide. 

Filmmaker Cigdem Akbay Running Time 25 mins Production Year 2007 Language Turkish with English Subtitles

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"Illustrates how hip hop and rap have entered Turkish culture and become distinctly Turkish - and spawned the same cultural debates in that country as in the United States. HIPHOPISTAN is a valuable short film that could be used profitably in introductory classes to illustrate modern global cultural processes, as well as in advanced courses in globalization and ethnomusicology. Students will appreciate the focus on a contemporary musical style that most enjoy and all recognize. Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of music/ethnomusicology, anthropology of globalization, and Turkish studies, as well as general audiences."
                        
—Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database


Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis of Masculinity

Acclaimed anti-violence educator Jackson Katz argues that the epidemic of male violence that plagues American society needs to be understood and addressed as part of a much larger cultural crisis in masculinity. Whether he's looking at bullying and school shootings or gay bashing, sexual assault, and violence against women, Katz makes a powerful case that male violence, misogyny, and homophobia are inextricably linked to how we define manhood as a culture. The film gives special attention to how American media have glamorized increasingly regressive and violence masculine ideals in the face of mounting social and economic threats to traditional white male heterosexual authority. Katz's innovative cultural approach to gender violence prevention has been adopted by the NFL, the NCAA, and the U.S. Marine Corps. 

Filmmaker Sut Jhally Running Time 82 mins Production Year 1999 Language English

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"Violence Prevention begins with a fearless look at the cultural factors that encourage violence, especially school violence. Tough Guise needs to be watched by every high school and middle school student in America."

—Mary Atwater | Violence Prevention Coordinator | Jefferson County, Colorado


Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

This film provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Director Byron Hurt, former star college quarterback, longtime hip-hop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the documentary as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music. He pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood. The documentary features revealing interviews about masculinity and sexism with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, and cultural commentators such as Michael Eric Dyson and Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Critically acclaimed for its fearless engagement with issues of race, gender violence, and the corporate exploitation of youth culture.

Filmmaker Byron Hurt Running Time 60 mins Production Year 2006 Language English

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

“A tough-minded, erudite dissection of misogyny and homophobia in hip-hop — in the tradition of Supersize Me – this is the one that has people buzzing, ‘It should be taught in schools!’”

—Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly


Follow Your Heart: China's New Youth Movement

A revealing documentary on the work and life of successful and independent Chinese Hip-Hop artists and their cultural influence in a society rapidly changing from communism to consumerism. Clashing with both traditional Chinese values and new modern ones, these artists believe that Hip-Hop allows for the expression of freedom and being true to oneself. Furthermore, the film describes the high optimism and convictions of this new generation that will inherit a political and economic superpower.

Filmmaker Duncan Jepson Production Running Time 89 mins Production Year 2007 Language Mandarin/English with English Subtitles

PRAISE FOR THE FILM

"This documentary film looks at a graffiti artist and several independent Hip Hop artists who embrace a genuine meaning that they have found in the true tradition of these art forms. Intolerant of commercialization or stereotypical expectations, these artists seek to express their freedom, emotions, beliefs, and experiences with other Chinese youth through music, dance and graffiti... Generational differences and traditional values and culture are at odds with the lifestyle that these artists have chosen as evidenced by parental views, but there is also an understanding and appreciation for the freedom and opportunities that continue to open up to the young people of China along with concerns for their future and ability to transition to adult responsibilities. No one is quite sure where all of this is heading but they are full of hope and they are enjoying the ride... The young people are articulate and provided interesting perspectives and thought provoking opinions and attitudes about the new youth movement in China and questions about the future. This is a well done, energetic and colorful documentary that would provide students and teachers with many jumping off points for discussion on youth culture, consumerism, China, hip hop, and more."
 
—Karen Coronado, Educational Media Reviews Online