Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise
Explores the same women's and men's reactions to the groundbreaking film, THELMA & LOUISE, 25 years ago and today.
Directed by Jennifer Townsend
Produced by Jennifer Townsend
Director of Photography: Stuart Ferrier
Editor: Sarah Ferrier
Consulting Editor: Dina Guttmann
Original Music: Stephen Thomas Cavit
A Far Beyond Film Production
Note: There are two versions of this program on the same DVD: 87-minutes and 54-minutes.
"A superb addition to classes in film studies, women, gender and sexuality studies, popular culture and American Culture studies." Jane Caputi, Prof. Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Florida Atlantic University
Powerful, authentic, and timely, CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE dives off the edge into the truth of women's experience in the world. It revisits the journey of Thelma & Louise through the lens of viewers who saw that iconic film in 1991 and shared intimate, personal, stories at that time. The same women and men were tracked down 25 years later. Are their responses different now? Has anything changed in the way women are treated?
Interview commentary mixes with clips from "Thelma & Louise" to reveal why this cinema classic continues to resonate with millions of viewers, the world over. Christopher McDonald, who played Thelma's husband, and Marco St. John, who played the truck driver, offer an insider's viewpoint.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2019
Copyright Date: 2016
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-26-7
"A superb addition to classes in film studies, women, gender and sexuality studies, popular culture and American Culture studies. It provides invaluable insight as to why this film endures as a metonymy for feminist consciousness, the pleasure and resistance of women's bonding, and righteous rage against rape culture."
Jane Caputi, Professor, Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Communication and Multimedia, Florida Atlantic University, Author, Goddesses and Monsters: Women, Myth, Power and Popular Culture
"Fascinating and provocative...We learn from intense debates about whether the film is feminist or not, about a pernicious sexism that continues today, about injustice to women, and about a continuing rape culture. This film offers a powerful pedagogical opportunity for college courses in the humanities and social sciences. It's sure to trigger intense debate amongst students, and strong emotions - the perfect place to start thinking about complex, enduring, socio-political concerns regarding gender and sexuality."
Elizabeth Kaplan, Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Stony Brook University, Author, Women in Film Noir
"Powerful...Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise grabs you and doesn't let you go just because you finished watching it. Some films provoke animated conversations and robust engagement. This is one of them."
DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
"It is as moving to see the women in this film respond to their younger selves' responses to Thelma and Louise as it is to hear the responses themselves, both 25 years ago, when the film was released, and now, with all of the life experience and cultural changes over the past quarter century."
Nell Minow, Alliance of Women Film Journalists
"In the #MeToo era, it's eye-opening and sobering to hear the interviewees discuss their personal responses to the film's depiction of assault and revenge and whether the controversy and awareness that the film provoked has had any lasting impact on society or the movie industry."
Loren King, Alliance of Women Film Journalists
"Townsend's well-researched and beautifully composed documentary challenges you to recall and reflect upon your own responses to Thelma and Louise, and to remind us that movies really do influence the ways in which women think about ourselves and our lots in life."
Jennifer Merin, Alliance of Women Film Journalists
"Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise is a powerful reminder of the ability of film to shine a light on important topics in our society. Incorporating different viewpoints on a film that broke many barriers, the documentary provides us with a unique look at the ways in which films impact us and how our reception of a film may not be the same as someone else's. This documentary would make a wonderful addition to any course that explores topics dealing with feminist media or audience reception analysis."
Nichole Bogarosh, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Whitworth University
"Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise is a meditation on the profound and enduring impact that popular culture can have on the American public. Sadly, while time has passed, director Jennifer Townsend's film shows the ways in which very little has changed for women in regard to agency and safety both on and off screen. This film is a must see in the #MeToo era."
Caroline Smith, Assistant Professor of Writing, George Washington University, Author, Cosmopolitan Culture and Consumerism in Chick Lit
"Movies matter...This innovative documentary focuses on the feminist afterlife of a beloved classic...Catching Sight deftly interweaves autobiographical interviews of the film's original audiences with aesthetic contemplations of how popular movies can lead to social movement and political empowerment. It's a poignant, conversation-starting film that would work particularly well in the classroom or at feminist community events."
Maggie Hennefeld, Assistant Professor, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Author, Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes
"Insightful and often passionate interviews...The results are fascinating...Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise is a surprisingly multi-layered documentary...Appropriately, like the film that inspired it, it tends to linger in the memory for some time afterward."
Kurt Gardner, ArtsBeat LA
"Ridley Scott's classic raised questions we're discussing today around feminism and the #MeToo movement, making Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise so relevant. This documentary offers thoughtful insight throughout."
Kimber Myers, Los Angeles Times
"This uniquely touching documentary shows how impactful art can be, how many people it can reach and just how long it can last...These heartwarming and heartbreaking collection of voices would make Thelma and Louise, themselves, very proud."
Brigid Presecky, The Hot Pink Pen
"Refreshing and necessary...Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise is...a mirror of sorts, reflecting the work of strong movements and activism to bring a change."
Henrick Vartanian, Brave New Hollywood
"What struck me most about the film is how it got people talking...t's especially important for a film like this to be shown on college campuses and in today's political climate, where sexist and misogynistic remarks have become part of campaigns for even the highest office in the land."
Brian Passey, The Spectrum
"All great films live on in the minds and hearts of audiences - Thelma and Louise is no exception...Mixing footage of the original film with insights from viewers and scholars, Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise explores the #MeToo issues that galvanized feminists of the second wave and shows their relevance to the present day."
Laura Grindstaff, Professor of Sociology, University of California - Davis
"Soul-stirring...Once you've seen it, by all means share your thoughts. You'll be blown away at the cultural pressure on women not to rock the boat."
Pamela Tsigdinos, Silent Sorority blog
"The film connects the personal reflections and experiences of audience members - sometimes sharing empowered memories, and sometimes tragic ones - with larger questions about the way our societal and legal systems continue to marginalize and oppress women, especially in cases of sexual assault. The result is a nuanced and unapologetically feminist film that links audience reception with smart and spirited analysis of the movie itself."
Jennifer Proctor, Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies, University of Michigan - Dearborn, Co-founder, EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media)
|Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please inquire.
* 2 Versions of the film on the same DVD: 87 mins and 54 mins
* SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
* Scene selection
The Film's Website
Comprehensive Academic Study Guide
Community Screening Guide
Awards and Festivals
Best Female Filmmaker Award, Santa Cruz Film Festival
Audience Award, Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival
Best Director of a Feature Film, Reel East Texas Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Documentary, Cinema at the Edge
Napa Valley Film Festival
New Orleans Film Festival
Film Festival for Women's Rights (Korea)
Port Townsend Festival: Focus on Women and Film
DOCUTAH International Film Festival
Portland Film Festival
San Antonio Film Festival
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
LA Femme International Film Festival
Hot Springs International Women's Film Festival
Ojai Film Festival
Anchorage International Film Festival
BZN International Film Festival
Ridgefield Independent Film Festival
Women's International Film and Arts Festival
An exploration of the history and politics of breast obsession in America, and its connection with breast cancer, breastfeeding and body image.
Marilyn Waring demystifies global economics from a feminist perspective.
A Question of Rights
Looks at the state of women's human rights in Ethiopia, Latvia, Jamaica and Fiji.
Earth Seasoned: #GapYear
Diagnosed with learning difficulties, Tori finds her greatest teacher in nature, spending a "gap year" living semi-primitively with four other young women in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.
The Motherhood Manifesto
Looks at the obstacles facing working mothers and families and the employer and public policy changes needed to restore work-life balance.
No Country For Young Girls?
A young Indian woman has to choose - stay with a husband who doesn't want female children, or make it on her own.
A Sense of Wonder
Rachel Carson's love for the natural world and her fight to defend it.
Tina In Mexico
The story of renowned photographer Tina Modotti, acclaimed for her innovative and impassioned depiction of social issues.
... more Reviews
"This film provides a very intimate reflection on the reality of rape in US society, both 25 years ago and today, particularly with respect to the lack of support towards victims of sexual assault and the silence of rape survivors. Catching Sight is an indispensable complement to Scott's film. It is an important resource for students in the field of gender and sexuality studies in high schools and colleges, and a powerful educational tool for community screenings."
Barbara Zecchi, Director of Film Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
"A powerfully moving exploration of how viewers have responded to Thelma and Louise in the context of gender violence in their lives."
Becca Cragin, Assistant Professor of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
"These themes are a current today as 25 years ago, and this fascinating program would be an excellent tool to kick off discussions on the iconic film, feminist issues, and women in Hollywood."
Candace Smith, Booklist