For many years we have been hearing about the inequities for women in the world of filmmaking, and recently voices have been becoming louder. Now along comes “This Changes Everything,” a documentary cry for facing the issue head-on and doing something about it more rapidly. Ironically, the film has been directed by a man, Tom Donahue, and he has sympathetically made the case for women loud and clear.
Prominent women--and men- speak out in interviews and comments adding insight into the need for better roles for women and more opportunities on the filmmaking end, including producing and directing.
Foremost is the contribution by Geena Davis, who is both passionate and articulate in leading us through the maze, and who is also an executive producer of the film. Prominent in the documentary is reference to the investigative role of the Director’s Guild of America’s Women’s Steering Committee, set-up in 1979. Its mission: looking into the process of hiring by Hollywood studios.
The film is enlivened by illustrative film clips, but the basic strength is gathered from the comments by many notables in the industry. The large roster includes Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Jill Soloway, Shonda Rhimes, Yara Shahidi, Chloe Moretz, Amandla Stenberg, Alan Alda, Sandra Oh, Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Rose McGowan, Judd Apatow, Rosario Dawson, and even Anita Hill.
One might complain that the film begins to seem repetitive. But the overall impact is strong, and the film takes its place among important agitprop works that deliver a crucial message. The need is for change that enables more opportunities for women in every aspect of the film industry—and achieved much faster than the limited progress made thus far. A Good Deed Entertainment release. Reviewed August 9, 2019.