What does it feel like to be a woman on the street in a cultural environment that does nothing to discourage men from heckling, following, touching or disparaging women in public spaces?
Filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West believes that the streets are a War Zone
for women. Armed with only a video-camera, she both demonstrates this experience and, by turning and confronting her abusers, reclaims space that was stolen from her.
is an excellent discussion starter for both men and women. It gives voice and expression to a disturbing daily aspect of being a woman in this society. It also gives men a direct personal feeling for what harassing behavior looks and feels like to a woman. Young men who may think such behavior is cool or funny will be forced to rethink their assumptions.
is a classroom, documentary edition of Maggie Hadleigh-West's first film by the same title. Her film has been screened and applauded at scores of festivals in the U.S. and abroad. She has appeared to discuss the film on the Today Show
, CBS News, 20/20
, BBC, NPR, CNN, and Eye to Eye with Connie Chung
Sections: Intro | History | Interviews | Gina: New Orleans | Interviews 2 | Natasha & Sheila: New York | Interviews 3 | Trelles: New Orleans | Interviews 4 | Respect | Interviews 5 | Phone Call
Executive Producers: Maggie Hadleigh-West, Missouri Davenport Lobrano, Hank Levine
Producer: Hank Levine
Writer, Director: Maggie Hadleigh-West
Sr. Associate Producers: Suzie Baer, Dyan Diemar
Associate Producers: Richard Calderon, Karen Laverty
Line Producer: Aaron Levine
A Film Fatale, Inc. / Hank Levine Film GmbH Production.
Educational Distribution by Media Education Foundation
MAGGIE HADLEIGH-WEST | Writer & Producer
Maggie Hadleigh-West is an internationally recognized social justice activist, filmmaker, producer and public speaker. Through her humor, wit and experience, Hadleigh-West skillfully explores personal experience and transforms it into socio-political activism using film, short stories, workshops, trainings and educational programs. The primary focus of her work is around issues of sexism, sexual harassment, sexual assault, racism, homophobia, diversity and trauma.
Hadleigh-West's films and presentations have been used around the world in theaters, broadcast television, cable outlets, nonprofit organizations, conferences, corporations, colleges and government agencies. Since 2002 the Department of Defense has been using her work to educate all branches of the military around issues of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Hadleigh-West has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio programs including 20/20
, The Today Show
, CBS News, The Oprah Show
, Lifetime Live
, Oxygen Media
, BBC, NPR, and CNN. Articles on Hadleigh-West have been published in USA Today
, New York Times
, San Francisco Examiner
, NY Observer
, Chicago Tribune
, Village Voice
, New York Daily News
, Ms. Magazine
, Glamour Magazine
, London Times
, South African Elle
, the Swedish papers Aftonbladet
and Dagens Nyheter
and Australia's Exposure
magazine. Visit her website at www.yomaggie.com
Official Selection, 1998 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection, 1998 docfest: New York International Documentary Festival
Official Selection, 1998 Northampton Independent Film Festival
Official Selection, 1998 Seattle International Film Festival
Praise for the Film
"Among all of the films related to sexism, harassment, and violence I have reviewed, War Zone
stands out as the most unique, powerful, and important contribution to anti-sexist education."
- Paul Gorski | EdChange Multicultural Pavilion
"Shrewdly building a canny tale of humor, hostility, and, ultimately, physical violence. War Zone
... asks the questions on the mind of every woman who knows the anger and frustration of not being able to walk down the street undisturbed."
- Hazel-Dawn Dumpert | LA Weekly
"Funny and shocking!"
- Susan Sarandon | Academy Award Winning Actor
"You have to admire her courage and honesty... she has made a highly provocative film!"
- Kevin Thomas | LA Times
is as spontaneous and humorous, as it is relentless and painful in it's investigation of gender relations."
- Nicholas Wenner | Dagens Nyheter
is utterly solid, carried along by the Director's smarts and charisma."
- Nada Ulaby | Windy City Times
"Off the pavement, at dinner tables and parties, her film might start a small-scale war between the sexes."
- Karen Avenoso | Daily News
"One of the most provocative and beautifully made films I've seen in years."
- John Pierson | Author of Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes
"Alarming and electrifying! Utterly compelling... War Zone
may well be the best date movie of the summer, but expect to see more arguing than necking in the back rows."
- Emily Barton | Time Out New York
"Everything she shows is fascinating, revealing and provocative."
- Jonathon Rosenbaum | Critics Choice, Chicago Reader
"Feisty and provocative."
- Dave Kehr | New York Daily News
"...Besides her courage to expose herself to these hungry men, the fascination of War Zone
lies in an extraordinary and smart relationship between the public and the private space."
- Jan Distelmeir, epd | Bravo!
"A very thought provoking film that honestly deals with a deeply disturbing subject. Between the anger and the laughter, one can't help but be touched emotionally."
- Bruce Sinofsky | Co-Director of Brother's Keeper
and Paradise Lost
"Rarely has one seen such obvious privileges being questioned with such clarity and yes, actually with humor."
- Eva X Moberg | Aftonbladet
"...This is a war of a very special kind, the violence of lecherous men who give unwanted attention... War Zone
shows how the body of a woman can become a battlefield, just by what she wears."
- Jurgen Veil | Moving Pictures (Germany)
"Finally, every woman who's endured such unpleasantries as 'Mmm...I want some of that...' on her way to the deli or dry cleaner has someone fighting for her right to walk public streets in peace."
- New York Magazine