A bold, convincing call for new voices and perspectives in cinema.

An investigation of how the male-dominated film industry silences women’s stories.

Drawing on more than 100 hours of interviews and abundant studies and news articles, actress, writer, and producer Jones makes her book debut with a spirited critique of the film industry’s treatment of women at all levels. “I have lived and experienced the harassment, the casual dismissals, the closed doors, the patronizing head-pats, the blatant sexism, the indifference toward women in film for over a decade,” she writes, mounting compelling evidence that her experiences are widespread—and persist even after #MeToo, #OscarsSoWhite, and the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Fresh out of drama school, Jones knew she would have to spend a few years “furiously battling to get auditions” and working for little or no money in order to build a resume. She soon discovered that along with competition and disappointment, “sexual harassment, assault, and degradation make up the constant, thrumming, crushing backdrop of being an actress.” With men predominant as casting directors, agents, directors, and producers, she found that when trying out for a part, she was “being held up against a set of stereotypes of the type of women who are allowed to appear in films and on television” and “make sense to the creators and gatekeepers.” Frustrated as an actress, she faced gender discrimination, as well, as a film producer. Female film school graduates, argues the author, “have a far harder time than their male peers acquiring even the lowest-level entry jobs in the industry,” meaning less access to financial support and networking. Women behind the camera, moreover, have “to fight to command the respect from typically majority-male crews.” Sexism directly affects film’s cultural impact: Since 95% of movies have been directed by white men, the images they perpetuate “have shaped everybody’s cinematic visual language,” turning women into the objects of male protagonists’ “actions, desires, and gaze[s].” Jones offers concrete suggestions for change within and outside of the industry, including by filmgoers who should “vote with your dollars.”

A bold, convincing call for new voices and perspectives in cinema.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-80-703345-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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