Over the last half-century, America has seen one of the most sweeping social revolutions in its history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy. It’s a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, on grand stages like the Supreme Court and Congress, and in humbler ones like the boardroom and the bedroom. No individual and no aspect of American life has been unchanged.
MAKERS: Women Who Make America will tell this remarkable story for the first time in a comprehensive and innovative three-hour documentary for PBS, to air in early 2013. The film will feature the stories of those who led the fight, those who opposed it, and the unintentional trailblazers — famous and unknown – who carried change to every corner of society. Taking its cue from the motto of the movement – “the personal is political” – MAKERS will delve deeply into the personal lives of its subjects. The film will not be a top-down narrative of events over people. It will be built, bottom-up, from the first-person, intimate accounts of women who were there, including movement leaders like Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf; opponents like Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye; famous faces like Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton; and the many “ordinary” women confronted with what equality meant in their own lives.
Through the perspectives of those who lived through it, MAKERS will recount the seminal events of the organized women’s movement from the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 to the Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991. But it will also go much further, telling the surprising and unknown stories of women who broke down barriers in their own chosen fields, from the coal mines of West Virginia to the boardrooms of Madison Avenue. And it will take the story to today, when a new generation is both defending and confronting the reality of their mother’s legacy. Throughout, the film will capture with great period music, humor, and playful graphics the dizzying joy, aching frustration and ultimate triumph of a movement that turned America upside-down. Tune-in to PBS February 26th at 8pm (check local listings here) for the premiere of MAKERS: Women Who Make America.