Two Films that Embrace Women's Movements, in Africa and North America

A Black woman wearing a yellow shirt with a brown patterned dress over it and a pink and orange head wrap. She sits in front of a cinder block wall with an open door. She is looking to the side and has her index finger raised.

New Day Films invites you to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with us! Our now 50-year-old film cooperative was initially formed because the women’s movement had arrived and a group of independent filmmakers couldn’t find distribution for their feminist films. So, they started New Day!

In celebration of women, New Day Films presents two films that embrace women’s movements on two continents: North America and Africa – one by New Day Films founders Julia Reichert and Jim Klein and the other by Kurt Otabenga Orderson, a more recent New Day member. Both films emphasize women’s collective leadership as an integral aspect in building social movements.

We Rise for Our Land

Kurt Otabenga Orderson, 50 minutes

Women in three southern African nations, who both work the land and mobilize for legislation, put themselves at the center of decision-making around land use. In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique, and Zambia, women and families are continually subjected to land dispossession, through the destruction of their homes, evictions, or ongoing degradation of the environment to the extent that it becomes uninhabitable. This moving film affirms that an engaged pursuit of agrarian reform requires extensive civic and popular education - particularly in rural areas.

A black and white photo taken in the 1930’s of a group of striking workers who are predominantly Black women. Two women hold signs that say This Laundry is on Strike. Laundry Workers International Union Local 135.

Union Maids by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein and Miles Mogulescu.

Union Maids

Jim Klein, Julie Reichert, and Miles Mogulescu, 48 minutes

Sitdowns, scabs, goon squads, unemployment, hunger marches, red baiting and finally the energetic birth of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO): the 1930s were a landmark period for the American Labor movement. Union Maids is the story of three women who lived that history and make it come alive today. It was the first film of its kind – an oral history, using a wealth of footage from the National Archives to chronicle the fight to form industrial unions as seen through the eyes of rank and file women.

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