Moving Beyond Myth
Susan Macmillian's compelling documentary explores the tensions between our most cherished myths of girlhood and the difficult life choices girls face in the real world. The film gives special attention to how girls have been forced to navigate changing expectations in the wake of the women's movement on the one hand, and a commercial culture that trades increasingly in the sexualization of young girls on the other. Along the way, it weaves the voices of a diverse group of girls with analysis from leading experts and researchers in the field, including Lynn Phillips, author of Flirting with Danger
; Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Director of the Body Project; and Deborah Tolman, author of Dilemmas of Desire
Director & Producer: Susan Macmillan
Associate Producer, Researcher: Judith C. Kuppersmith
Videographer & Sound: Bruce Edward Daniels
Music: Michelle Marie Nestor
Project Editor: Rafael Blanco
Editors: Bruce Edward Daniels, John Custodio, Evan Kleinman, Eddie Stein
SUSAN MACMILLAN | Director & Producer
Susan MacMillan has taught television/video production at Queens College/CUNY and the University of North Carolina. She has worked in the broadcast industry producing commercials (CBS), educational/documentary programming (PBS) and as an independent Producer/Director. Her documentary Caution: Hurricane Crossing
which tells the story of the New York hurricane of 1938 aired on PBS in 1994.
Praise for the Film
"Girls, Moving Beyond Myth
features a wide range of articulate and engaging experts discussing core developmental issues that girls must face in a post-modern, media-saturated world. A diverse group of girls speak with honest voices about their true thoughts and often anguished feeling. This video is educational in the finest sense of the word. It elucidates and motivates."
- Mary Pipher | Psychologist | Author, Reviving Ophelia
"Girls: Moving beyond Myth
confronts cultural assumptions about girls' sexuality. The documentary combines interviews with leading girls' studies scholars (e.g., Michelle Fine, Joan Jacobs Brumberg), social advocates (e.g., Cydney Pullman, founder of The Girls and Boys Projects), and everyday girls. The film makes two interrelated arguments. First, it suggests that culture, media, and peers pressure girls to be sexual at a young age (experts point to media images; girls talk about pressure from boys). Second, the film argues that we need to listen to and talk with girls about sexuality. Here, the social advocates discuss their organizations' programs (e.g., workshops about girls' "changing bodies"). And the girls talk about the double standard they face: they are expected to be sexy, but if they have sex they are labeled a slut. Toward the end, the documentary addresses more subtle aspects of sexuality, such as girls' sexual feelings and how they express them, including through same-sex desire."
- Films for the Feminist Classroom
| Sarah Projansky, University of Utah