Review: Resisterhood

Resisterhood begins in the aftermath of the 2016 election as women (and men) gather in Washington to march on Day One of the Trump presidency. There we meet the six resisters the documentary follows for the next two years – Psychologist Jean Gearon, 84-year-old Margaret Morrison, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and his wife Soraida, lesbian soccer star Joanna Lohman, and Muslim grandmother Mimi Hassanein. The film traces each of their political evolutions from the march until the 2018 mid-term elections. While it is a film that will mainly be preaching to the choir, it’s also an inspiring story that may give people on the fence a reason to get out and vote. And for that alone, I hope a lot of people will see it.

The film is chronological, delineated by weeks. It starts with the Women’s March, a reaction to the election of 45. But weeks later, there’s another outrage and another march. And then weeks later, another and another. The Muslim ban, the Trans Military Ban, Kavanaugh and #MeToo, the Administration’s Anti-Science stance, Black Lives Matter, Dreamers and Children in Cages. The filmmakers are there in the streets with the resisters throughout as they organize, educate, and grow their movements.

It’s a diverse and likable group. Margaret Morrison marched in Selma and is still in the fight, teaching her grandson why it matters. Jean Gearon’s great-grandmother was a well-known Suffragist and only became an activist after the election because she and her friends felt the need to DO SOMETHING! Joanna Lohman was a popular soccer star, but when injury sidelined her she decided to use her popularity to speak out about LGBTQ issues. Mimi Hassanein is an Egyptian immigrant who decided to run for local office in 2018. And Luis Gutiérrez was a Congressman from Chicago who along with his wife Soraida championed the Dreamers and the kids at the borders. And their daughter ran for city council, too.

We see all of the resisters at march after march, growing stronger and more determined, as the film cuts between them and the outrages they are protesting. It’s a harrowing look at just the first two years of 45’s administration and reminds you of how much damage was done and how quickly. It ends though on the high note of the big wins for women in the mid-term elections. But sadly, the filmmakers also tacked on another ending after the film was finished, reminding the audience of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and the pandemic. It’s the kind of film that would get people out of their seats and into the streets, if the pandemic wasn’t keeping them indoors. But it will make you want to do something now, whatever you can, to be a part of the resistance. And to vote like your life depended on it. It does!

The film will be available to stream on Amazon Prime and Vimeo On Demand as of National Voter Registration Day, September 22nd!.

Resisterhood RISE trailer from Unshakable Productions on Vimeo.

 

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