Four students in the IP Clinic spent part of their summer engrossed in the fascinating, but little-known history of the movement of women – secretaries and administrative assistants – across the US in the 1970s seeking better pay, more advancement opportunities, and an end to sexual harassment. Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” song reflected their struggles and in turn became their anthem.
Now Academy-Award winning producers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar tell the story in a new documentary, 9to5: The Story of a Movement, which premiered this month on PBS. The film shares the frustrations, difficulties and drive of young women to organize and improve their lives through recording and photographs of 9to5 organizers, in the 1970s and today. The producers also pulled deeply from TV and news archives to find materials of the day that show deeply-engrained sexism in popular shows, news interviews, and secretarial training materials.
IP Clinic students Cameron Rocha, Kiara Ortiz, Kristen Canales and Eli Sulkin dove deep into these historical and news archives materials to provide IP counseling and fair use analysis. Among other materials, they used Clinic founder Peter Jaszi and Pat Aufderheide’s The Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact as a valued guide, https://cmsimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Documentary-Filmmakers.pdf
Congratulations to Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar on the release of this important new film! More information at https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/9to5-the-story-of-a-movement/