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Miss Representation (2011)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,454 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 16 critic

Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.

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(consulting writer), , 3 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Herself - On the O'Reilly Factor (archive footage)
Chris Baker ...
Himself - KTLK's Chris Baker Show (voice)
Krystal Ball ...
Herself - (D-VA) Candidate for Congress
...
Himself (archive footage)
Mike Barnicle ...
Himself - MSNBC Contributor (archive footage)
Glenn Beck ...
Himself - The Glenn Beck Radio Show (voice)
Barbara J. Berg ...
Herself - Historian, Author Sexism in America (as Barbara J. Berg PhD)
John Boehner ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself - Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
Mika Brzezinski ...
Herself - MSNBC (archive footage)
Pat Buchanan ...
Himself
Ursula Burns ...
Herself - CEO of Xerox (archive footage)
Tucker Carlson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Alex Castellanos ...
Himself - Republican Strategist (archive footage)
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Storyline

Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

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You can't be what you can't see.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

15 April 2014 (Netherlands)  »

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Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
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Connections

Features Squawk on the Street (2005) See more »

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Written by Van Phillips
Courtesy of APM Music
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User Reviews

An example of argument that is a mile wide, but an inch deep.
30 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I give this a 4 because it was professionally done, in terms of editing and photography, but in terms of content, it really is sub par.

Basically this documentary tries to build the case that media is an insidious influence, whenever it is convenient to their case, but ignores any evidence that doesn't fit their theory. For instance if media were so influential, Americans would be thin and fit, but we all know that isn't true. But more to the point the issue with this documentary is that it is not concerned with looking at its arguments in any depth, instead a cheap slogan type of declaration or testimony is put out by some talking head and in a few minutes of selective media clips they try to cover the lack of depth by jumping from topic to topic flooding you with a barrage of clips and speakers. It reminds me more of a political campaign advertisement than a serious documentary really interested in honest examination of an issue.

They make points claiming that other countries have had women leaders before us because we don't depict them in the media, but does that even pass quick inspection? Benazir Bhuto who was a female prime minister of Pakistan lead arguably one of the most sexist countries on earth. So how does that argument even pass muster before they put it in the documentary? It epitomizes the level of thinking in this film.

Margaret Cho for example claims that sexism was the reason her sitcom failed, but is that really true? Maybe she just isn't funny. It doesn't matter to this film because all they do is throw these statements out there one after another. Statements claiming that shows like jersey shore are sexist because they show women in a bad light are made entirely ignoring the fact that the male cast in those shows are hardly considered respectable either. This type of poorly thought out argument is the basis for the entire film sadly, and because it is so paper thin, they cut from topic to topic in a hyperactive manner.

TV networks like FX have even been known to do things like pass on hit shows like Breaking Bad because they rejected the show based on their quest to break into the lucrative female demographic. Apparently the middle aged white lead was enough for them to pass on the show. But such facts do not matter to this film, which assumes sexism is always the answer to every question in the most simplistic way.

My problem with films like these is that they are more about employing techniques of propaganda with selective evidence and shallow one sided argument rather than encouraging critical thought about a subject. To promote this as a feminist film is really to give women no credit at all.

If one is going to claim that media does women a disservice, I would suggest this film is the most harmful of all. To use the words of Erika Falk PhD from the documentary against herself and the film itself, women like her and this film paint themselves as "more fragile, emotional, and more gullible than men, therefore they are irrational and cannot be trusted in positions of power".


12 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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