“Change their minds and change the world,” the old Wonder Woman theme song reminded little girls glued to the TV at home. Now, a team of filmmakers has harnessed that same spirit to showcase the story of the lasso-wielding lady and her impact on our culture, comic book and otherwise, with their documentary “Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.”
“”Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman,” the synopsis explains. “From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, “Wonder Woman!” looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.”
Turns what could’ve just been a flat history of a comic book character into a brief study of female empowerment in the last century.
Wonder Woman! takes viewers behind the scenes with actresses like Lindsay Wagner (“The Bionic Woman”) and Lynda Carter, who portrayed the titular protagonist and has become an indelible image of Wonder Woman, as well as featuring thoughtful commentary from the male-dominated comic book world, and sharing the perspective of feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Kathleen Hanna.
Director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan told the Women & Hollywood blog that the idea for the film took shape afer she read a New York Times article about former hairdresser Gail Simone’s celebrated turn writing Wonder Woman– the first time a female took the helm as an on-going author the heroine’s story. “It got me thinking about women in comics and why they aren’t more women. But I also found it surprising that she was the first woman to write the Wonder Woman series. We think of Wonder Woman as this great icon of female power and throughout her career she has been written and produced by men.”
“I started to look back at her origins and found that she is this interesting character who had been around for as long as Superman was really born in the golden age of comic and was created deliberately as this female role model. Whether she lived up to those expectations or not is sort of another question, but I found that she became an interesting way to talk about women in terms of their representation in popular media and how those roles and how those have changed over time.” The documentary is now available on iTunes for $9.99. What does the Wonder Woman character embody for you and your story? — Casandra Armour