Rosie the Riveter
"Rosie The Riveter" is by far the best documentary on the American home front during World War II, and an excellent, extremely entertaining look at a spark that ignited the women's liberation movement. Thirty years later, women benefited from what women in the 1940s did to reinvigorate the nascent movement's roots; their mothers had won the right to vote, and WWII women took the movement a giant step further.
When thousands of men left factories and other jobs to join the armed forces, an urgent, escalating need for the United States to produce armaments created a deliberate program to recruit women to join the workforce, especially factories where planes, ships, and artillery were built. From all over the country, young and not-so-young women arrived in towns with or near military bases, and discovered skills they hadn't known knew they had -- as workers and as independent people. They were self-sufficient, capable, and strong: Many regularly endured double-shifts. They eventually discovered new freedoms by earning their own incomes and making their own choices on how to spend their money.
Connie Field's extremely captivating documentary is chock full of interviews with women from all walks of life, interspersed with newsreel footage and popular songs of the day, all of which encouraged and inspired the female workforce. Field illustrates myriad ways in which women were discouraged from working after the war, and how strong a role the media played in encouraging women to raise families and stay in the kitchen. (Even Eleanor Roosevelt joined the movement to get women to leave jobs "so men can have them.") This film gives a rare glimpse of World War II -- from women's perspectives -- and is a vital document of American history.
Wanita Allen, Betty Allie, Gladys Belcher, Lyn Childs, Marynia Farnham (from archives), Pr
Rosie the Riveter; women in WWII workforce; FDR
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