Film Image
Up Against the Wall Ms. America (Newsreel #22)
Producer: Newsreel
8 minutes

Up Against the Wall Ms. America (Newsreel #22)

"Here she comes…" At the 1968 Miss America pageant, demonstrators introduced a sheep as the appropriate winner. This entertaining short film shows how Women's Liberation activists used guerrilla theater to raise awareness of what Miss America really represents. The film was widely screened by the second wave women's movement and is a vivid document of the movement's activists in action.

This short film was the first film made by Bev Grant and Karen Mitnick Liptak, members of the Newsreel collective. Bev Grant said, "The movie came about because I was a member of NY Radical Women, a sort of coalition group, including WITCH and Redstocking who were planning the Miss America Beuty Pageant demo. Miriam Boxer and I had gained press passes as members of Liberation News Service and were sitting below the runway. Karen Mitnick and I had a Bolex camera and a Nagra recorder and Miriam shot stills. Whe Miss America took her walk, we filmed it and also caught some footage of the banner being unfurled over the balcony. This was the first film Karen and I had ever worked on."
Third World Newsreel’s historical Newsreel collection provides contemporary audiences with a vast archive of political documentary films chronicling the social movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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"I have used MISS AMERICA each year, and it is great for talking about a number of issues. My students absolutely love the sheep images, the more outrageous cuts. I think, compared to most current docs, that one is so expressive, so passionate, so transgressive… they love it." - Julia Reichert, Filmmaker and Teacher
• No Master Territories Exhibition, HWK, Berlin
• List Projects: Civil Disobedience, MIT, 2017

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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.