This Changes Everything (Donahue, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Matheus Clorado. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2019.

The Lobero Theater was at capacity for the largest screening of This Changes Everything. Tom Donahue directed a documentary that brings to light harsh facts – detailedly how many Hollywood studios and the entertainment industry have been shadily shutting women out of this professional field.

Several referenced features depict this fact; so hard to accept yet always here before our eyes. The crude truth reveals it to us that somehow we’ve all been deceived and cinematically fooled into letting male figures dominate the frames of motion pictures in addition to solely manipulating the industry.

Through many amazing interviews, – some by incredible humanists such as Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and Natalie Portman- the audience acquires more information on the history of the issue as well as its relevance. The rise of strong women within the industry making a stand is witnessed and inspires the viewer to go beyond plain awareness of an issue. A call for action is the reaction.

The Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda mentions “momentum is everything” and this documentary’s title gets dissected and labeled as a nearly cliché, overly played through women in film history. As they say, at many times, the change of times and conduct was announced and celebrated, just pre-announcing the disappointment of having that momentum die out.

Essential to watch, any equal rights movement’s flag bearer will find that the facts exposed here are just as tremendously overwhelming as the bravery needed by the many involved in this documented process of slowly changing them.

This changes everything.

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