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Category: Art and Entertainment, Girls

My Love for Tiffany Shlain

January 21, 2011

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The WMC blog is featuring Progressive Girls' Voices in dispatches from the Sundance Film Festival, as our girl journalists attend feminist film screenings and interview notable leaders and directors. Here, Molly O'Donnell reviews Tiffany Shlain's Connected — watch this space for more.

By Molly Kiefer O'Donnell

Molly is a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City, UT. She’s worked with Planned Parenthood for the last two years on campaigns to get comprehensive sex education available to every Utah teen. She plans to continue fighting for women’s rights throughout college and become a gynecologist.

Yesterday was the first day at Sundance film festival for us young journalists, and we already had our first interview. Last afternoon we spoke with the lovely Tiffany Shlain, director of the film Connected. Before talking to Tiffany, we were all given the opportunity to view her movie. Connected is a documentary about what it means to be connected in the 21st century—the age of text messages, chat roulette, and lol-speak.

Facts about advancements in technology interspersed with Tiffany’s personal journey throughout the filming of this movie convey the message that we all need to form deep connections, rather than the shallow ones permitted by social networking sites.

I love love LOVE this move for a number of reasons. First, I wholeheartedly agree with its message. As a not very committed Facebook user, I’ve noticed how these websites have turned into a replacement for real social interaction. When a Facebook “poke” is the most physical interaction someone gets, I think that’s a clear sign to log off and get some sun.  

Another reason why I would highly recommend seeing Connected was the animation and visual style. As a creative hook to this informative movie, it kept the documentary interesting. American Teens—the people who would most benefit from the message in this movie—would be able to enjoy this film, even if they don’t typically enjoy documentaries (something that I’m often guilty of).

The third reason that I fell madly in love with Connected was that it gave an inside look into the life of a woman filmmaker. Throughout the story, Tiffany talks about her struggles with pregnancy and motherhood. Seeing how flawlessly she handled all of these factors on top of working was inspirational and made me that much more excited to learn about these women filmmakers and feminists in the media. It was a good film for myself and my fellow young journalists to watch to kick off our tour of women in the media here at Sundance. Tomorrow should be fun.

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