'To be a feminist, you have to fight': Helen Clark to star in doco about gender equality called Revolt She Said

'To be a feminist, you have to fight': Helen Clark to star in doco about gender equality called Revolt She Said
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A new documentary on gender equality in Aotearoa featuring former Prime Minister Helen Clark is set to open in New Zealand before making the rounds at three international film festivals. 

Revolt She Said, by Kiwi filmmaker Louise Lever, will open on International Women's Day (March 8) and is described as a "call to arms" for a new generation of women to continue to fight for their rights. 

Clark offers her insights into modern feminism to the feature, insisting that New Zealand has a long way to go in terms of gender equality. 

"I am very unhappy that our country has one of the highest rates in the OECD for domestic and gender-based and family violence," the former Prime Minister says in a teaser clip for the film. 

"This is wrong… until we get over that, then we can't really say we've achieved gender equality for women, because beating up women is an attitude that says 'it's okay to do this', and it isn't. That's a profoundly unequal set of attitudes." 

Clark says that "to be a feminist, you've got to have an innate characteristic of being a fighter". 

"You have to campaign, you have to jostle, you can't be passive and inert," she adds. 

"We have to make sure that there really is a real choice for all women to choose the lives that they want to lead." 

Revolt She Said also features journalist Alison Mau, artist and advocate Lizzy Marvelly and leading academic Dr Pani Farvid. The film also features coming out stories from the LGBTQIA+ community and explores identity, gender, politics and power. 

"We need a rainbow of diverse voices to change things," filmmaker Lever says. 

"Discomfort is part of change and it's no good if we're unable as a society to debate complex ideas. 

"With social media things are often discussed in a few sound bites. That's not life. I want to encourage people to log-off, open the door, get outside and revolt, protest, be loud, make people uncomfortable - that is where the magic happens." 

After premiering in Auckland and screening in Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Melbourne, Revolt She Said will be screened at two Montreal festivals and one in Chicago.