HARI In-House Blog

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Film Festival


Hiphop Feminism Film Festival: Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

The Hiphop Feminism Film Festival is coming back to The Hiphop Archive and Research Institute, Thursday, March 23rd 2023. What is Hiphop feminism? What does it mean to be a female emcee and share your story through rhyme? Who are some of the most influential female rappers in the game? Looking forward, how can we implement Hiphop feminism and its tennets, into a genre of music that sometimes seems anti-feminist? Come and watch groundbreaking films and documentaries that tackle all these questions and more. Throughout next week, we will be screening the featured films, as well as engaging in discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and The Hiphop Archive & Research Institute.

The Hiphop Archive & Research Institute
104 Mount Auburn Street, 3R, Cambridge, MA

Thursday, March 23rd 2023

Free and open to the public.


Inside the Archive
12:15pm – 1:15pm = Nobody Knows My Name (58m)
1:30pm – 3:30pm = What Happened Miss Simone? (1h 42m)
3:30pm – 6:00pm= Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce (2h 17m)
At the Black Table (Seminar Room)
12:15pm – 1:30pm = Say My Name (1h 13m)
1:30pm – 3:30pm = This is the Life (1h 37m)
3:30pm – 5:45pm = The Forty-Year-Old-Version by Radha Blank (2h 4m)

Film Descriptions
1999 = Nobody Knows My Name
Nobody Knows My Name tells the story of four women and artists. Asia One, DJ Symphony, Leaschea, Medusa, and T-Love all come together to tell their story and offer a small look into a day in the life of someone who is completely dedicated to Hiphop. All of these women are talented in their modes of self-expression, a characteristic strongly valued in Hiphop culture, and yet all must strain to be heard in their male-dominated structures. Ramist’s documentary allows them a platform to share their stories with the world. Raimist explores and brings to light the fascinating feminist community trying to find its place as a subculture, within a subculture that is already marginalized to an extent. 
2008 = This is the Life
In 1989, a collective of young artists gathered weekly at a small health food store in South Central LA called "The Good Life." Their mandate? To explore and expand the musical boundaries of hip hop. This Is The Life tells the little known story of a group of teenagers, who revolutionized hip hop by innovating the very rhyme patterns, melodic concepts and lyrical styles used by many of today's biggest rap stars. While their innovations have yielded billions of dollars for the recording industry, the Good Life emcees have toiled in relative obscurity in the United States. But much like their jazz heroes of a bygone era, these street poets have garnered a rabid and musically sophisticated fan base abroad, with a cult-like following in Germany, Australia, France, England and Japan. This feature-length documentary, directed by former Good Life emcee Ava DuVernay, chronicles the rise and fall of an unusual family of artists, while examining their obstacles to commercial success. They all took different paths, but remain connected by the music they made, the alternative hip hop movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the art form.
2009 = Say My Name
A story is built around the lives of entrepreneurs, mothers and artists fighting to be themselves in a society that offers few opportunities for women.
2015 = What Happened Miss Simone? by Liz Garbus
Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.
2019 = Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce
This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé's celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.

2020 = The Forty-Year-Old-Version by Radha Blank
Desperate for a breakthrough as she nears the big 4-0, struggling New York City playwright Radha finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper.