What is feminism? What does it mean? What does it do?


The Sundance Now Doc Club is premiering “Spin the Globe” this May. It kicks off with “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman” by Jennifer Fox.

At first, “Flying” sounded like an overwhelming and heart-heavy documentary that I’d share with you guys but probably find no interest in for myself. But then I read beyond the synopsis, into the description of the episodes. (There are six hours to this! I was ready to write it off yet again, I hardly have that number of hours for sleep! However, I guess I devote even more hours to a TV show per season…)

What I discovered is that I started thinking all sorts of questions. The kind a lot of other women my age ask…

  1. Is it weird that I’m over 30 and still don’t want kids?
  2. Is it horrible that I’m over 30 and still don’t have any of the kids I want to have?!
  3. Is marriage a death sentence where you’re controlled?
  4. Am I the only one of my siblings who is truly happy?
  5. Do I need a husband to have a child?
  6. Is there something wrong with someone who isn’t married by a certain age?
  7. Is every woman either a “whore” or a “madonna” in other’s eyes?
  8. Why won’t my friend call herself a feminist?
  9. Why is female sexuality seen as so horrible?
  10. Will going against how I was raised always make me feel guilty?

It can’t be wrong to want answers.

“Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman”

“What does the modern woman want? Where does she fit in today’s world?”

Never before in our collective human history have so many women had such autonomy to construct a life of their own creation. Yet, the terrain is still rocky and ‘choice’ does not necessarily bring happiness, let alone freedom. Meanwhile, old models of femaleness still haunt women everywhere.

In this six-hour tour de force, FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN, master storyteller Jennifer Fox lays bare her own turbulent life to penetrate what it means to be a free woman today. As her drama of work and relationships unfolds over four years, our protagonist travels to over seventeen countries to understand how diverse women define their lives when there is no map. Employing an ingenious new camera technique, called “passing the camera”, Fox creates a documentary language that mirrors the special way women communicate. Over intimate conversations around kitchen tables from South Africa to Russia, India and Pakistan, she initiates a groundbreaking dialogue among women, illuminating universal concerns across race, class and nationality. Part delectable soap opera, sociopolitical inquiry, and narrative experiments, FLYING sweeps us up into an addictive international adventure chronicled with sincerity, innovation and elegance.

—Caroline Libresco, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL catalogue

Sundance NOW’s Doc Club is the only place you’ll find this series online.