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The University of Alabama

UA’s Honors College Presents Documentary Series on Global Women’s Issues

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Honors College is exploring global issues of gender, agency, civil rights and representation in a three-week film series that explores the stories of marginalized women.

The screenings are free and open to the public.

The series supports the Honors Book Club. This semester, Honors College students and faculty are studying the nonfiction book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book examines how scientists drew and kept alive cancer cells drawn in 1951 from a Baltimore woman named Henrietta Lacks.

The HeLa cell line is alive today and has contributed to research into cancer and other diseases. The book also examines the effect the cells’ fame has had on Lacks’ surviving family. The film screenings are:

“Working Women of the World,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, 205 Gorgas Library

This 2002 documentary, directed by Marie France Collard, tells the stories of women in Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, Belgium and France who are responsible for the labor that fuels the circulation of global capital and free trade, but who are all too often unseen and exploited.

“In Search of Lin Zhao’s Soul,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, 205 Gorgas Library 

During China’s chaotic Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), Lin Zhao spoke up for civil rights and was imprisoned and, eventually, died. Director Hu Jie, in this 2004 documentary, recovers her story and brings to light forgotten stories from this tumultuous period and the difficulties in accessing them.

“Pink Saris,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, 205 Gorgas Library

After being married off as a child bride, Sampat Pal has struggled for agency and respect in her family and has extended her call for women’s rights to her broader community through creating the Pink Gang. This 2010 film, directed by Kim Longinotto, follows Sampat in her role as a community mediator of everyday challenges faced by women in contemporary India.

The series is sponsored by Honors College, Housing and Residential Communities, the Faculty in Residence Program, University Libraries, the Asian studies program, the department of history, the department of American studies and the African American studies program. For more details, contact Dr. Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa at

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.