January '23 @ Ragtag

Science on Screen® returns, Cinema friends,

The reality we live in is a reality distorted—by faith in alternative fact and fundamentalism; by extremism in the streets and the courts; by democracy in peril and a planet on fire. Its name is dystopia.

Science Fiction proposes futures born of present problems: Utopias built from today’s missteps corrected, and dystopias from staying the course. Sexism, though, is not unique to the present—victories for suffrage, opportunity, and bodily autonomy in the wide lens of history are. "Startlingly, the idea that history always progresses,” Margaret Atwood stated, “is a fantasy.”

Atwood penned The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, in the midst of the striking swing to the right that threatened the liberatory forward momentum of the 1960s and 70s. Atwood’s novel tapped into the grim urgency and roiling rage brewing in the moment and formalized the Feminist Dystopia—all of which has become more explosive than ever.

This coming season of Science on Screen we explore Feminist Dystopias in cinema, pairing screenings with presentations from women in science on climate change, indigenous methodologies, biology, resource economics, and beyond. The series kicks off with Mad Max: Fury Road on 35mm, Tuesday, January 17. [READ MORE: The Future is Now Here: Mad Max and Dystopian Exploitation | Analysis by Tia Sarkar]

Running through April, Science on Screen: Feminist Dystopias also features Slash/Back, Nyla Innuksuk’s SXSW Midnight debut that pits an alien invasion against four Inuit girls; Teknolust, new-media pioneer Lynn Hershman-Leeson’s comedic rework of the cyberthriller starring not one, but four Tilda Swintons; and Rachel Talalay’s unhinged, high camp, cult actioner Tank Girl on 35mm. Save on admissions by purchasing a Series Pass to all four films before January 17.

Join us as we look to Feminist Dystopias to see critically our present world; to learn of opportunities that science has for a better one; and to be inspired by the agency that Feminist Science Fiction gives women to fight. 


Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and sponsored at Ragtag Cinema by Stephens College.