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Review by Phalene de la Valette
Wonder Woman was always more than just a superheroine. Since her birth in 1941, her mission was not only to beat the villain, like her male counterparts did, but also to be “a distinctly feminist role model” and “bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men,” as comic book writer and the creator of Wonder Woman Willian Moulton Marston puts it.
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American superheroines proves the Amazon Princess succeeded quite well. The documentary explores the importance of heroic female models in childhood development and the way society portrays women. With interventions from legendary actresses Lynda Carter (TV Wonder Woman, 1975), Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman, 1976) and second-wave feminist journalist Gloria Steinem, Wonder Women! offers a different perspective on feminism.
The objective of the documentary is ambitious. A little too much maybe: the film struggles at times to cover its broad subject and leaves us unsatisfied with its superficial analysis. But its dynamic, entertaining and aesthetic storytelling makes up for its flaws. And as the film discusses the impact of contemporary superheroines figures such as Buffy or Sarah Connor, one question surfaces: How come that in a movie industry dominated by superhero blockbusters today, we still don’t have any movies about Wonder Women? The success of Lynda Carter’s 1975 TV series proves that’s it’s not a question of popularity or fame, and it’s not a question of fashion either: Captain America with his star-spangled shield and his helmet wings — who was just as dated as Wonder Woman — was granted a modern spin by director Joe Johnston in 2011. Could it be because Hollywood, an industry led by men, is afraid of superheroines?
Vox rating: VVV
THE RATING SYSTEM
VVVVV = AWESOME! SEE IT TWICE
VVVV = DEFINITELY GO SEE IT
VVV = HMM… IT’S OKAY
VV = EH… DVD MAYBE?
V = DON’T BOTHER
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