My first film, Miss Representation looked at the ways limiting gender norms negatively affect girls and women. My second film, The Mask You Live In, exposed how those same norms also harm boys and men. The Great American Lie will complete the story by examining the effect of these limiting gender norms on society at large. But we need your help.
Why This Film Matters
We are currently living in one of the greatest periods of social and economic inequality in our nation’s history. Today, the top 0.1% of Americans own as much wealth as the bottom 90%. In 2017 alone, 82% of new wealth created went to the top 1%.
Meanwhile, one in five American children and one in eight American women live in poverty - despite us being one of the wealthiest countries on earth. Increasing inequality has created deep social, economic, and political divides. Clearly the status quo is not working.
The Great American Lie exposes how this inequality is rooted in our beliefs with the cultural pendulum swinging too far towards revering things we consider “masculine,” like individualism, power, and money, at the expense of things we consider “feminine,” like empathy, care, and collaboration.
What We Need to Make this Film
My films have always inspired passion, catalyzed communities and individuals, and meaningfully contributed to an emerging understanding of the impact of limiting gender norms in US culture. Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In have been seen by millions of people and screened in all 50 states in the US and over 80 countries worldwide. The Great American Lie promises to further grow the conversation in meaningful ways.
We are in the final stages of production on The Great American Lie and we still have a budget gap. To help fill it, we are launching this Kickstarter campaign and asking you to contribute - by donating, sharing, and carrying this conversation forward.
Building a support base for the film is an extraordinary step towards creating a truly national conversation around inequality. Whether it's $1 or $100, if each of us recruits just one more person, we can make a huge difference! Please join us.
What Will the Film Look Like?
The Great American Lie tells the stories of real people whose experiences demonstrate what inequality looks like today as they confront the broken systems around them.
Each character, in some sense, tries to imbue their respective industries and communities with more “feminine” values of empathy, care, and collaboration so as to ensure greater equality around them.
As with our past big idea films, we use a diverse array of academic and thought-leader expert interviews to help frame the overarching thesis and connect the dots between our values, the state of inequality in America, and our characters’ journeys.
Ultimately, this documentary, like my past ones, will raise awareness of an important and timely issue and inspire people to take action in their own lives and communities.
I am extremely passionate about this topic and have been researching it for quite some time. I've also enlisted an amazing group of expert film content advisors to help guide my thinking, including:
- David Adler, Constitutional Scholar
- Charles M. Blow, Journalist
- Prudence Carter, Professor of Education
- Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics
- Gina Clayton, Lawyer and Civil Rights Advocate
- Alana Conner, Cultural Psychologist
- Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law
- Linda Darling Hammond, Professor of Education
- Maria Echaveste, Lawyer & Latin American Scholar
- Riane Eisler, Historian & Systems Scientist
- Bob Friedman, Economic Development Advocate
- Angela Glover Blackwell, Lawyer & Economic Equity Advocate
- David Grusky, Professor of Sociology
- Ian Haney Lopez, Professor of Law
- Caroline Heldman, Professor of Political Science
- Jackson Katz, Educator & Advocate
- Kerri Kelly, Wellbeing Activist
- Nicholas Kristof, Journalist
- Heather McCulloch, Financial Security Advocate
- Gavin Newsom, California Lieutenant Governor
- Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education
- Ai-jen Poo, Economic Justice Advocate
- Solana Rice, Financial Security Advocate
- Steve Schmidt, Communications Strategist
- Raj Sisodia, Professor of Global Business
- Bryan Stevenson, Public Interest Lawyer
- Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate Economist
- Maia Szalavitz, Journalist
- Gillian Tett, Financial Journalist
- Lynne Twist, Financial Author & Coach
- Niobe Way, Professor of Applied Psychology
- Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics
I founded the nonprofit, The Representation Project, in 2011 in response to the overwhelming public demand for ongoing education and social action in support of my first film, Miss Representation. Since then, The Representation Project has released my second directorial film, The Mask You Live In, and become well known for creating popular campaigns such as #NotBuyingIt, #AskHerMore, and #AskMoreOfHim.
The Representation Project inspires individuals to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes and gender norms so that everyone can fulfill their human potential. To do that, we must disrupt the cultural value system that reveres things we consider “masculine,” like individualism, power, and money, at the expense of things we consider “feminine,” like empathy, care, and collaboration.
The Great American Lie exposes that value system and offers a better path forward. We’re ready to bring the message of the film into schools, living rooms, Twitter feeds, boardrooms, and conferences across the nation. Learn more at therepresentationproject.org.
The Representation Project is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (Tax ID: 45-1611066)
Risks and challenges
We are determined to make this film. Yet as with any production, scheduling and financial hurdles could stand in the way of finishing the project within the planned timeline. If this were to occur we would update our backers immediately of any changes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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