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Chick Flicks with Brains

Vermont film festival highlights excellent movies by, for, and about women

Jennifer Siebel Newsom's Miss Representation highlighted a group of strong, nuanced, and thoughtful films at the recent Women's Film Festival in Brattleboro, Vermont. A compelling, persuasive argument about how the media shapes cultural attitudes toward women to the especial detriment of girls, Representation avoids partisan politics—Condoleeza Rice and Nancy Pelosi both appear. It deftly mixes personal testimonies from women in the entertainment industry, interviews with academics and social policy makers, and young people who talk candidly (and often heartbreakingly) about how it feels to grow up in a sex-saturated culture.

Two short films, Angel for Hire and Eggs for Later, deal with the moral implications of fertility technology. Partially a biographical sketch of Noel Keane, the Michigan lawyer who drafted the first surrogacy contract, Angel is most interesting when it shows how implicit conflicts of interests between the prospective adoptive parents (who prioritize the life and health ...

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