“when you find me,” the short film directed by Bryce Dallas Howard (daughter of Ron Howard) packs a powerful punch despite its short run time. The film is the result of Canon’s Project Imagination contest in which participants submitted photography as inspiration for the film. The culmination of this is a moving meditation on life and death. The short focuses on the loss of a mother and the following fallout between two siblings. When the sisters at the end of the film embrace and cry, you’ll find yourself doing the same.
In this age of super hero revival, each summer brings a slew of comic book movie adaptions. We’ve seen Spider-Man, Batman, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Thor and many more, but in this sea of heroes where are all the she-roes? What happened to Wonder Woman? What is the effect of a lack of female super heroes?
The documentary “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Super Heroines” searches for answers to these questions and more. It does this through interviews with feminist icons to actresses to fans. In addition, there’s footage from older media properties, comics and conventions. This is a visual journey through the history of Wonder Woman and other strong female characters.
With its rich imagery, the film is filled with vibrant colors and art. The only thing detracting from this are the awkwardly animated segments where static comics are made to move. However, these bits become less frequent in the latter half of the documentary, allowing serious pondering that is still entertaining.
The interviewees are lively and engaging. They tackle issues of feminism, gender, comics history, film and media representations. It chronicles the waves that powerful women characters seem to come in, and takes issue with the lack of representation they currently have.
The film highlights the importance that super heroines play in the lives of young girls. It suggests that perhaps girls need super heroes more than boys do. Female role models that are active instead of passive are critically missing from the media at large today. Where are the Ellen Ripleys and Sarah Conners of yesteryear? Why are so many female action stars now self-sacrificing? Would a super heroine film really do poorly in the box office?
Of course there have been former female action stars, but the film details some of their shortcomings in comparison to their male equivalents in terms of how the characters were handled. There are few examples that have created a strong role model for young girls. Even Wonder Woman, a central character throughout the film, has gone through stages of questionable content.
Witty and eye-opening, this is a documentary that will educate and entertain the viewer. There’s a roundness to it that leaves no stone unturned. The film captures the scope and repercussions of the problem, and by the end of the film, audiences will sincerely ask, “Where is Wonder Woman?”