HARI In-House Blog

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Film Festival

Hiphop Feminism Film Festival: March 29 - March 31 2022

The Hiphop Feminism Film Festival is coming back to The Hiphop Archive and Research Institute, Tuesday March 29th 2022. 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

March 29th-March 31st 2022

Free and open to Harvard ID holders.


(Film Descriptions below schedule)

B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop (2005)
March 29 - 12:00pm
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes (2006)
March 29 - 2:00pm
This is The Life (2008)
March 30 - 12:00pm
Nobody Knows My Name (1999)
March 30 - 2:00pm
Say My Name (2010)
March 31 - 12:00pm
Sisters In The Name Of Rap (1992)
March 31 - 2:00pm


Film Descriptions:

B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop (2005)

"Created by the organization Intermedia Arts, B-Girl Be was a multimedia festival that showcased and celebrated the contributions of women to Hiphop. Encompassing MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti, B-Girl Be influenced thousands of artists and audience members since its inception in 2005, challenging and changing the perceptions and roles of women in this revolutionary art form. This was the first international exhibition that was held for three days by 37 artists spanning from South Minneapolis to South Africa. The multimedia convention celebrated the accomplishments of women in Hiphop and included workshops, performances, readings and panel discussions that focused on the four elements of Hiphop... emceeing, deejaying, break dancing and graffiti. The B-Girl Be Summit was the event to make connections, build confidence, sharpen skills, and gain access to the tools to create music, poetry, film, rap, aerosol art, and dance. This event came at a crucial time in Hip-Hop, where images of women are often stereotypical and one-sided. B-Girl Be's mission is to dispel these myths." 



Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in Hiphop culture. Director Byron Hurt, former star college quarterback, longtime Hiphop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the documentary as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music. He pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood – that have lasting impacts on men and women as well. The documentary features revealing interviews about masculinity and sexism with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes, Hiphop mogul Russell Simmons, and cultural commentators such as Michael Eric Dyson and Beverly Guy-Shetfall. Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes offers an unflinching look at Hiphop’s attitude towards women, and ways in which we all actively take part in these actions. 

Director: Byron Hurt
Executive Producer: Stanley Nelson
Co Producer: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon



This is The Life: How The West Was One (2010)

this is the life documentary cover

A feature-length documentary that chronicles "The Good Life" emcees, the alternative music movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the art form.

Directed and Produced: Ava Du Vernay



Nobody Knows My Name (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. 

Director & Executive Producer: Rachel Ramist








Say My Name (2010)

Say My Name

The unstoppable female lyricists of Say My Name speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as women in Hiphop. From Hiphop’s birthplace in the Bronx to grime on London’s Eastside, emerging artists like Chocolate Thai, Invincible, Jean Grae and Miz Korona, to world renowned pioneers like MC Lyte, Erykah Badu, Estelle, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.

Director: Nirit Peled
Producers: Dave Hemmingway, Nirit Peled
Production company: Mamamess







Sisters in the Name of Rap (1992)

At its worst, rap can encompass moronic, ”yo, baby”-style sexist rants that see women as little more than whores or golddiggers. But the distaff side has slowly been gaining ground, as this new video demonstrates: Hosted by the Dee Barnes of Fox TV’s Pump It Up, Sisters in the Name of Rap presents no gangstas, no Uzi-toting militia, no scantily clad sex kittens. The acts range from established artists like Salt-N-Pepa and MC Lyte to newcomers like Tam Tam. A 75-minute extravaganza of live performances taped at the Ritz in New York, this revue preaches self-reliance and demanding respect from guys.

Director: Chris Balton
Executive Producers: John Scher, Jeff Rowland, Tim Snow
Producer: Mark Spellen