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The Girl With The Rivet Gun

Takes you beyond the iconic "We Can Do It" poster girl to the millions of real-life women who shook the foundations of the American workplace in WWII.

A printer-friendly version of this page 15 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly
Produced by Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly,
Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
Artwork and Animation: Danielle Ash
Executive Producer: Laverne Berry
Sound Design: Andrea Bella
Editor: Anne de Mare
Music Composer: Michelle DiBucci
Produced by Spargel Productions

"This is astounding! A funny, fascinating, and inspiring film." Elizabeth Cobbs, Prof. American History, Texas A&M Univ
Built entirely by women filmmakers, THE GIRL WITH THE RIVET GUN is an unconventional animated documentary short based on the adventures of three real-life "Rosie the Riveters"—Esther Horne, Susan Taylor King and Mildred Crow Sargent. From vastly different backgrounds, these three women came of age in an America united by war but struggling with divisions of gender, economics and race.

THE GIRL WITH THE RIVET GUN serves as an entry point into a rich, layered, and adventurous rewriting of history as herstory, inspiring conversations about working women everywhere and taking viewers beyond the iconic "We Can Do It" poster girl to the millions of real-life women who shook the foundations of the American workplace—forever changing not only their own lives, but the very perception of what women can do.

Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2021     Copyright Date: 2020
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-60-7

"The Girl with the Rivet Gun tells Rosie's story in a new and irresistible way. Esther, Susan, and Mildred's wartime adventures come to life in stunning and clever visuals. Their stories will provoke lively discussions about empowerment, racism, sexism, self-fulfillment, labor conflict, femininity, and wartime in secondary and college classrooms. Students will be enchanted and challenged by what they see and hear on screen. A speedy and memorable delight!"
Meghan Winchell, Professor of History, Director of Gender Studies, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Author, Good Girls, Good Food, Good Fun: The Story of USO Hostesses during World War II

"This is astounding! A funny, fascinating, and inspiring film. Students of all backgrounds will delight in the story of how Americans came together to help one another - and make the world we have."
Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor of American History, Texas AandM University, Author, The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers

"The Girl With the Rivet Gun melds photography and oral history with the most riveting animation to explore through the sagas of three actual Rosies the ways that WWII transformed women's consciousness on the home front. This film is short enough to fold into any class and long enough to raise all the big questions on how race, class, and place (urban-rural, North-South) among women impacted the fight for equal wages and dignity on the job."
Eileen Boris, Professor of Feminist Studies, Professor of History, Black Studies, and Global Studies, University of California-Santa Barbara, Author, Making the Women Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019

"I absolutely loved The Girl with the Rivet Gun. This is an important educational tool that paints a vivid picture of how women from different backgrounds made powerful contributions to the war effort, illustrates the challenges of factory work, and highlights how these women adjusted to changes in our society."
Marne L. Campbell, Associate Professor, African American Studies, Loyola Marymount University

"This short film captures the drama of women's pathbreaking recruitment into industrial jobs during World War II, drawing on oral histories with three 'Rosies' and vivid images from the era. The clever animation enlivens the women's enduring pride in having contributed to the war effort as well as their memories of struggles to overcome barriers of race, gender and class. Perfect for classroom use!"
Ruth Milkman, Professor of Sociology, Chair of Labor Studies, City University of New York, Author, Immigrant Labor and the New Precariat

"The animation is just as unique as the stories behind it...The figures breathe new life into the women's stories, emphasizing that there's more than one face behind the famous 'We Can Do It' poster girl."
CBS New York

"Seeing The Girl With The Rivet Gun was quite the treat...Beautifully animated."
Katharin Mraz, Reel Chicago

"Unique...creative, beautiful and fun...This new visual storytelling serves an important and very real story."
Laurie Delaire, OC Movie Reviews

"Cleverly presented...I couldn't help but be utterly entranced by it...If you get the chance to see The Girl with the Rivet Gun please do take it."
Susan Omand, The Dreamcage

"Remarkable...Impressive...Provid[es] new understanding of this pivotal time in the transformation of America."

"Kudos to the filmmakers for keeping the story of 'Rosie' alive."
David Ferguson, Red Carpet Crash

"Truly beautiful...Insightful...A very enjoyable short that I will definitely watch again!"
Rosie Hughes Reviews

"Charming and creative...This all-female production celebrates the resourcefulness, adaptability and ingenuity of the first generation of Rosies as well as their descendants."
Tim Brinkhof, Bubble Blabber

"Compelling personal tales...A great watch...The compositions and arrangements have an experimental/DIY edge...and give the film a lot of interesting flair."
Viddy Well

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DVDs include public performance rights.

Awards and Festivals
Jury's Choice Award, Black Maria Film Festival
Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival
American Documentary and Animation Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Freep Film Festival
Bozeman International Film Festival
Lake County Film Festival

African-American Studies
American Studies
Gender Studies
Labor and Work Issues
Oral History
Race and Racism
Women's Studies

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The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It
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... more Reviews

"The effect of #MeToo and Time's Up has heightened a greater desire for more female-based storytelling - and no better example of this is in a fantastic new short...The Girl with the Rivet Gun takes us on an enlightening journey!"
John Higgins, Film and TV Now

"With intricate artwork, sparkling music, and a set of compelling interviews, this short film immediately captivates. A fine centerpiece for classroom instruction and community forums on women's history, equal pay, diversity in the workplace, and the importance of lived experience and stories to telling history. Viewers will not soon forget these women who picked up tools, put on pants, earned more money, and challenged unfair norms as they were able."
Jane Caputi, Professor, Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Author, Call Your 'Mutha': A Deliberately Dirty-Minded Manifesto for the Earth Mother in the Anthropocene

"Highly recommended...The short film provides a powerful and engaging introduction to women's impact on the United States victory and the effect their pioneering role had in the state of labor and woman's rights in the decades to come. The film will serve well as an entry point to many informative classroom discussions."
Cori Biddle, Penn State Altoona, Educational Media Reviews Online

"Beyond the sheer creativity of its medium, the value of Girl with the Rivet Gun is its ability to capture the texture of workers' daily lives...Instructors could easily show it during the first fifteen minutes of class, offering a tool for visual learners and leaving ample time for lecture or class discussion."
Justine Modica, Films for the Feminist Classroom

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