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Speed Cinema Presents: Growing Up Female and Union Maids

February 12 at 6:00 pm - 7:40 pm

Growing Up Female
Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein


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

Wednesday, February 12, 6 pm

Part of Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film, a film retrospective at Speed Cinema.

Growing Up Female is the very first feature length film of the modern women’s movement. Shot in 1970, it caused controversy and exhilaration. The film looks at female socialization through a personal lens into the lives of six women, ages four to thirty-five, and the forces that shape them: teachers, counselors, advertising, music, and the institution of marriage. It was widely used by consciousness-raising groups to generate interest and help explain feminism to a skeptical society. It offers us a chance to see how much has changed—and how much remains the same. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2011. 1971, U.S., DCP, 52 minutes. Recommended for 12+.

Union Maids opens up one of the great untold stories in our history—the fight to form industrial unions. The Depression period comes alive through the eyes of three remarkable women: Stella, Sylvia, and Kate. We follow them as they leave their small farms for the big city—Chicago—following the bright lights and looking for work. With good humor and a knack for storytelling, the women share their experiences. They find jobs working fourteen hours a day in factories where management has all the power and workers have none. Their anger grows as they experience the second-class treatment of women and minorities. The film documents their recollections of their first union meetings, the days of the sit-down, organizing the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the stockyards, and facing police shotguns to fight the evictions of unemployed workers. Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 1978. 1976, U.S., 16mm, 48 minutes.  Recommended for 12+.

$9 | $7 Speed members



Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film
This retrospective celebrates one of the most distinguished bodies of work in American independent film and one of our most accomplished documentarians—Julia Reichert.
Reichert is a pioneering documentary filmmaker and a three-time Academy Award-nominee. Reichert’s first film, Growing Up Female (1971), made with Jim Klein, was the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement and was recently selected for the National Film Registry. Her films, Union Maids (1976) and Seeing Red (1984) (also with Klein), were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Feature Documentary. Seeing Red premiered at the Telluride and New York Film Festivals, and it screened theatrically in more than 100 cinemas across the country.
Reichert’s landmark four-hour documentary, A Lion in the House (2006), made with Steven Bognar, premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, and won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. Her film, The Last Truck (2009, also with Bognar), premiered on HBO and screened at the Telluride Film Festival.
Reichert and Bognar created the interactive multi-platform web project, Reinvention Stories (2012/2013). She also co-directed the short films Sparkle (2012) and Making Morning Star (2016), which have been seen in numerous festivals and on PBS. Reichert is a co-founder of New Day Films, an independent film distribution co-op. She is the author of Doing It Yourself, the first book on self-distribution in independent film. She is a mother and a grandmother who lives and works in small town Ohio, drawn to stories that explore class, gender, and race in America. Presently, Reichert completed American Factory in 2019 (shortlisted for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar) and is working on 9to5: The Story of a Movement (2020)—two feature documentaries probing the themes that have guided her life’s work.
Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is curated by Wexner Center Director of Film/Video David Filipi. Special thanks to Chicken & Egg Pictures for its support. Film descriptions courtesy the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The Speed’s presentation of Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


February 12
6:00 pm - 7:40 pm
Event Category: