Chicago Film Fest 2018: This Changes Everything

Meryl Streep in This Changes Everything.

Addressing the gender disparity that troubles Hollywood, This Changes Everything is one of the most important documentaries of the year.

I can’t exactly point to when all the focus started turning to women directors not getting the same opportunities as men.  That being said, This Changes Everything is equally important to the Amy Adrion-directed Half the Picture.  This two films go hand in hand with a similar focus on women directors.

“The door has to be open,” Meryl Streep says.  “We just want inclusion.”

Eighty percent of the world’s entertainment is created in the US but stories from women are virtually excluded.  When Thelma and Louise was released in 1991, the film was thought to start opening the doors for these female stories because of the power women have.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  While A League of Their Own influenced girls to play sports, the film didn’t lead to other meaningful change in the industry.

As people start to study the top-grossing films, they notice men are writing or directing most of them.  It’s because of this that the gender disparity continues to get worse.  There are some areas that are seeing progress such as women directors getting television opportunities.  This progress owes its thanks to television critic Mo Ryan.  FX Networks responded to her work by putting the showrunners on notice.

TV alone is only part of the problem.  For those of us who are underrepresented, we tend to not see ourselves in the stories that get told on screen.  When those stories do get told, it’s not with the same authenticity.  This is because those stories get told by straight white cisgender men.

While This Changes Everything does its part in offering solutions, it’s on the studios and production companies to change.

DIRECTOR: Tom Donahue
FEATURING:  Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Chloë Grace Moretz, Yara Shahidi, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Jill Soloway, Shonda Rhimes, Alan Alda, Sandra Oh, Anita Hill, Jessica Chastain, Rose McGowan, Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Rosario Dawson, Maria Geise, Amandla Stenberg, Mo Ryan

This Changes Everything screened during the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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