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Shot in 1996 by the then high-school student Michael Lucid on a handheld camera at his school in Santa Monica, California, Dirty Girls was released and screened around Los Angeles in 2000 before gaining popularity on the internet in 2013. The film centres on a group of teens deemed ‘dirty girls’ by their peers for their rejection of school social norms – especially their purposely unkempt, grunge-influenced style. Identifying as part of the Riot Grrrl feminist punk movement of the 1990s, the girls share their perspective on capitalism, feminism and rape culture in their self-published zine, mostly to the mockery of their classmates. A microcosm of the high-school social experience familiar to many, Lucid’s film is also a window into the early days of third-wave feminism, before many of the ideas that the ‘dirty girls’ embraced gained traction in mainstream culture.
Director: Michael Lucid
A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company
Values and beliefs
How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years
War and peace
Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him
A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism
A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had
A harrowing account of a 1970 ‘leadership seminar’ spotlights self-help’s dark side
Beauty and aesthetics
For Ruskin, words couldn’t capture nature’s palette. So here it is in black and white
Wry animations expose the gap between anxious aspiration and real life
Mood and emotion
Alone on a small island in Belgrade, a father grieves his daughter in quiet solitude