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Second Stage Amherst. File photo

Second Stage Amherst is embarking on a new film series, Radical Women in Film, focusing on movies directed by women and centering on female protagonists.

“Hollywood movies under-represent girls and women onscreen and often portray them in one-dimensional stereotypes: the put-upon wife, the dutiful daughter, the sexpot, the damsel in distress,” says movie buff David Butcher, who organized the new series with Second Stage Amherst intern Kollin Kirven.

“These kinds of movies reach people all over the world, and they have a major effect on how we see women in the world, so representation onscreen matters.”

Radical Women in Film is a follow up to the art organization’s family-friendly movie series that was held during the summer, said Kirven.

The series kicks off this Friday with a screening of the 2011 coming-of-age drama “Pariah,” which centers on an African-American teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian.

Radical Women in Film continues for the next four Fridays with documentary “Double Dare,” which focuses on Hollywood stuntwomen Jeannie Epper and Zoë Bell, horror film “The Babadook,” adult-animated movie “Persepolis,” based on the graphic novel of the same name that follows a young girl coming of age during the Iranian Revolution, and Academy Award-winning biopic “Frida,” starring Salma Hayek as surrealist painter Frida Kahlo.

“All of these are movies that definitely embrace the intersection of women’s identity,” says Kirven. “… Women can be really anything they want to be. … Especially now in our moral and political climate, it’s especially important to have these conversations about women in general and their participation in society.”

Emma Schkloven covers arts and entertainment for The News & Advance.

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