"You don't make change by being polite and folding your hands."While voting rights were key for the first wave of feminism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reproductive rights took center stage during the second wave of the '60s and '70s, as women fought for better access to contraceptives and safe abortions. "She's Beautiful When She's Angry," a new documentary that will have its Bay Area premiere on Feb. 6, explores some of the second-wave movement's lesser-known moments.
The 92-minute film hones in on the complex and sometimes wild history of the women's struggle between 1966 and 1971, using archival footage and interviews with a diverse cast of activists. Some memorable voices in the film include a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which fought to legalize abortion and end discriminatory employment practices, as well as a member of the Furies, a short-lived lesbian separatist group in Washington that shunned men. "I wanted to do a film that was in your face and maybe even rude, because that's how the women's movement was," says director Mary Dore, who interviewed dozens of women activists from the era. "You don't make change by being polite and folding your hands—it doesn't work that way."