Kamala Lopez’s documentary examines the systematic unfair remedy of girls within the U.S. and all over the world.

There’s no denying the great intentions and necessary relevance of Kamala Lopez’s understandably indignant documentary exploring the mistreatment of girls in trendy-day America. Unfortunately, in its try and be complete, Equal Means Equal proves extra exhausting than enlightening. Barraging the viewer with a numbing array of statistics, details, sound bites and anecdotes, it feels extra like a doctoral thesis than a documentary.

Released theatrically on Women’s Equality Day, the movie makes a passionate case for reviving efforts to move the Equal Rights Amendment that was narrowly defeated when the ratification deadline expired in 1982. The result’s that there isn’t a constitutional safety particularly afforded ladies, because the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia makes clear in one of many movie’s archival clips.

Lopez — a veteran actress whose earlier directorial credit embrace A Single Woman, a 2008 documentary about Jeanette Rankin, the primary lady elected to Congress — makes use of this legislative defeat as a springboard to deal with myriad points referring to gender discrimination. The record of subjects addressed is disturbingly lengthy, together with unfair remedy within the office, home violence, intercourse trafficking, feminine incarceration, rape and sexual assault and feminine poverty, amongst others. The movie additionally explores such worldwide points as genital mutilation and the truth that home violence isn’t a criminal offense in lots of nations.

The filmmaker carried out dozens and dozens of interviews for the movie, and appears decided to incorporate sound bites from each one among them. The spectacular roster of topics embrace such acquainted faces as feminist and activist Gloria Steinem; actress and ladies’s rights advocate Patricia Arquette (who additionally government produced); National Organization of Women president Terry O’Neill; and New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. But the director makes the error of inserting herself too typically within the interactions, steadily slicing to shut-ups through which she registers various levels of indignation, anger and shock. When she’s seen at one level mournfully brushing away tears, it looks like a parody of Oprah Winfrey.

Trying to course of the movie’s countless recitation of authorized instances would show a problem to even probably the most devoted regulation scholar. And the heavy reliance on graphics makes probably the most elaborate Ted Talk appear minimalist by comparability.

The cinematic clumsiness is a disgrace, as a result of Equal Means Equal makes many highly effective factors alongside its diffuse, rambling approach. Here is a case through which much less would undoubtedly have been extra.

Production firm: Heroica Films

Director: Kamala Lopez

Screenwriters: Kamala Lopez, Gini Sikes

Producers: Kamala Lopez, Joel Marshall, Gini Sikes

Executive producers: Liz Lopez, Patricia Arquette

Director of images: Jendra Jarnagin

Editor: Geoff Stebbins

Composers: Gharles-Henri Avelange, Kathryn Bostic

Not rated, 93 minutes

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